“The EU and the Eastern Mediterranean: how to deal with Turkey”, Eduard Soler i Lecha (CIDOB, Spain)

Can a NATO ally and candidate for accession also be an adversary? EU leaders and institutions have always seen Ankara as a difficult partner. In 2019, the members of the FEUTURE research project argued that the EU–Turkey relationship seemed to be advancing towards a state of conflictual cooperation. Yet, an increasing number of countries and individual leaders in the EU are starting to treat Turkey no longer as a difficult partner but rather as a hostile actor or even as a geopolitical rival. The same is happening in Ankara’s decision-making circles. This adversarial relationship may either solidify or be replaced by a policy of tenacious engagement which, despite all the grievances, rediscovers the benefits of cooperation.

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