First Take:  The Commission and the High Representative present a report on the state of play of EU-Türkiye relations with  positive overtones

The Joint Report was published only a few hours and it will take some time to digest the key message in terms of concrete actions by EU to incentivize Turkey to cooperate with EU in a mutually beneficial manner.

However the    conclusions and recommendations section, partially reproduced here is encouraging.  The most important points are as follows:


High-level Dialogues

  • Reinstate the EU-Türkiye High-level Dialogues on Economy, Energy and Transport suspended in 2019, under the condition that Türkiye continues to refrain from all illegal drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and all other actions that do not respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of EU Member States. These political dialogues are also in the Union’s interest in order to address bilateral issues and pursue EU interests.
  • In the same logic, resume meetings of the Association Council and the High-level Political Dialogue at ministerial level.
  • Set up a new High-level Dialogue on Trade by the Commission, with the aim to tackle the remaining bilateral trade irritants and discuss further areas of cooperation.


CFSP, Foreign Policy and Regional issues, CSDP

  • Conduct the EU-Türkiye dialogues on foreign policy and regional issues regularly in a more structured way, with a view to be more effective and operational, in parallel with decisive steps by Türkiye to increase alignment with the EU CFSP.
  • Invite the Foreign Minister of Türkiye to informal meeting(s) of EU Foreign Ministers (“Gymnich” meetings), when relevant.

Trade and Connectivity

  • Resume discussions on the draft negotiating framework for the modernisation of the EU-Türkiye Customs Union, as proposed by the Commission, on the understanding that Türkiye keeps addressing the circumvention of EU restrictive measures against Russia via its territory rapidly and efficiently and continues to resolve trade irritants.
  • In particular, Türkiye should implement effective measures to stop the re-export of Common High Priority (“battlefield”) items.


  • On this basis, and in a broader environment conducive to the resumption of Cyprus settlement talks, the Council should adopt the negotiating directives and authorise the Commission to open negotiations for the modernisation of the Customs Union.


  • Accelerate the signature of contracts under the Turkey Investment Platform to boost public and private investments, in particular in the fields of connectivity, digital, energy, transport and green deal, in close cooperation with European and international financial institutions.
  • The European Investment Bank is invited to resume operations across all sectors in Türkiye.


Migration management and financial support to refugees and host communities

  • A more effective and mutually beneficial implementation of key areas of the 2016 EU Turkey Statement, notably on migration management is necessary,
  • Resume readmissions from the Greek islands and address the migration situation in Cyprus, and prevent irregular departures on routes to the EU, building on the recent increase in interceptions of migrant smugglers and reduction of irregular departures since October 2023.
  • Conversely, step up resettlements from Türkiye to the Union by EU Member States, building on the progress made so far. This should especially cover the most vulnerable groups of Syrian refugees in Türkiye. Consider activating the Voluntary Humanitarian Admission Scheme.
  • Continue support to refugees and host communities in Türkiye as proposed by the Commission in the mid-term review of the EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework.

This would build on the successful and effective aid of the last years, fit for the current realities on the ground.

Visa Procedures

  • As a matter of priority, explore possibilities with Member States to facilitate access to visa applications, in particular for certain specific categories of Turkish citizens when applying for visa to the EU (business people, students, Turkish citizens with family members in the EU etc.). This should also include making full use of the flexibilities of the Visa Code to allow the issuing of multiple entry visas with a long validity.


Analysis coming up…

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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.