Title: Let’s stay friends! The potential for EU-Turkey cooperation in the Eastern Partnership area
Authors: Ole Frahm and Katharina Hoffmann
In times of increasing conflict, the European Union (EU) and Turkey should continue at least a minimum of cooperation by shifting the focus to novel areas that are not as politically charged. An area with potential for cooperation is the Eastern Partnership, which holds an important if not primary position in both Turkey’s and the EU’s foreign relations. Given the limited success of the EU’s Eastern Partnership policy, cooperation with an established regional actor like Turkey is especially attractive. Economic, cultural, historical and migration ties deeply connect Turkey with Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Turkish actors also enjoy greater credibility than the EU due to their longstanding presence in the region and Turkey’s own very recent experience as an emerging economy. Co-operation should strongly involve non-state actors from Turkey, especially businesspersons. This would both enhance the connections to pro-European factions in Turkey and benefit the Eastern Partnership countries.