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Boosting Negotiations with Turkey: What Can France Do?


The Turkish accession process is deeply stalled not least since one of the EU's key member states - France - has opposed it tout court as the result of a highly politicized debate kicked off by Valérie Giscard d'Estaing during his Presidency of the Convention on the Future of Europe. Being used for electoral mobilization, the question gradually grew independent of its initiators and established itself as a lasting issue in French politics. By 2007, the newly elected President Nicolas Sarkozy stalled Turkish accession process by unilaterally blocking five negotiation chapters. With Eurozone crisis on the one hand and the recent economic successes of Turkey on the other, the accession question has lost a great deal of gravitas in Turkey too. François Hollande and the new French government could seize the window of opportunity opened by the presidential and legislative elections to redynamize accession negotiations with Turkey, and do away with the image of France in Turkey as the anti-Turkish shield of Europe.

Paper produced within the framework of the project Turkey, Europe and the World. Publ. in IAI Research Paper 9.

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