skip to content
CIDOB, Barcelona

FEUTURE Mid-Term Conference

FEUTURE Mid-term Conference "EU-Turkey Relations: Game (not) over?"

19 & 20 October 2017, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB)

On 19 and 20 October 2017, after 18 months of successful collaboration and joint research, the FEUTURE consortium met with distinguished Turkey experts, stakeholders from Turkey and the EU, the media and a wider interested public at the FEUTURE mid-term conference hosted by the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs(CIDOB) in Barcelona.
The 77 participants enjoyed interesting and lively debates. The conference started with a keynote speech by Director-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiation of the European Commission, Christian Danielsson, taking stock of the state of the EU-Turkey relationship. This provided an excellent reference point for the two following panel discussions. Sinan Ülgen (EDAM), Angeliki Dimitriadi (ELIAMEP), Funda Tekin (Project Director, CETEUS / CIFE) and Meltem Müftüler-Bac (Sabanci University) engaged in a lively debate on the question “Drivers and brakes in EU-Turkey relations: ever-changing and ever-challenged?” moderated by Barçın Yinanç (Hürriyet Daily News). The contributions tackled the issues of public opinion in Turkey, migration policy, the relevance of the development of European integration as such and the applicability of the EU’s enlargement policy as we know it. The results of this discussion also fed into the second panel on “What kind of f(e)uture scenario?” moderated by Piotr Zalewski (The Economist). Nathalie Tocci (Scientific Coordinator, IAI), Javier Nino Peres (EEAS), Nilgün Arisan Eralp (TEPAV) and Katharina Hoffmann (University of St. Gallen) discussed different options of how to frame EU-Turkey relations in the future. In spite of the current political debate the general conclusion was that cancelling accession negotiations would not help neither the EU and Turkey nor their relationship. The first day of the conference was concluded by a keynote speech by H.E. Ömer Önhon, Ambassador of Turkey to Spain.

The second day of the conference, 20 October 2017, was dedicated to the project’s internal discussions in which researchers deepened their work within the particular Work Packages (Political Drivers, Economic Drivers, Security Drivers, Energy and Climate Drivers, Migration Drivers, Identity and Culture Drivers) and discuss the progress made so far and the steps still to be taken. FEUTURE’s mid-term conference was closed by a concluding roundtable summarizing the most likely scenarios of the individual Work Packages and preparing the synthesis on the f(e)uture of the relationship that will be further substantiated by mid 2018.

Read here the full report and click here to download the agenda.





Under the theme "The European Union, Turkey and its wider neighbourhood: challenges and opportunities" on 17 and 18 October 2017, 11 PhD candidates from several countries took the chance to discuss their PhD theses with international experts such as Meltem Müftüler-Bac (Sabanci University), Robert Kissack (IBEI), Eduard Soler i Lecha (IBEI, CIDOB) and Atila Eralp (METU). The workshop was hosted by Institut Barcelona d'Estudies Internacionales and organized by TRIANGLE, funded by Stiftung Mercator and FEUTURE, funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. Recurring topics in the discussion were narratives in the Turkish-German-EU relations, populism, and the theses' theoretical concepts.

For more information see detailed report (to be accessible soon)



First FEUTURE Lecture


First FEUTURE Lecture

Ankara, 20 April 2017

On 20 April 2017, Prof Dr Wolfgang Wessels (Director of the Centre for Turkey and European Union Studies at the University of Cologne and FEUTURE Project Coordinator) gave a lecture on the topic "The European Council - The Master of the EU Game" at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara. Prof. Wessels’ lecture focused on the historical development and role of the European Council in EU-Turkey relations, as well as the decision-making mechanisms, and the highly political nature, and the sphere of influence of this EU institution.

This lecture inaugurated the series of "FEUTURE Lectures" and “FEUTURE Policy Challenge Sessions” that will take place throughout the remaining project lifetime.





Joint Workshop of WP 2 & WP 4 in Istanbul

Joint WP 2&4 Meeting, Istanbul, 3 and 4 November 2016 

On the 3rd and 4th of November 2016, the Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM) organised the joint workshop for FEUTURE Work Packages “Political Drivers” (WP 2) and “Security Drivers” (WP 4) in Istanbul.

FEUTURE researchers from CIDOB (Leader of WP 2) and EDAM (Leader of WP4) came together with work package members from the University of Cologne, CIFE, METU, MERI, CRRC, IAI, DIIS and Eliamep with the aim to make the conceptualization of the research within the framework of these two work packages more precise, also with regard to the present status of EU Turkey relations, the general situation in Turkey and the latest global developments.

The workshop commenced by a discussion of FEUTURE’s three ideal-type scenarios from political and security perspectives. Afterwards the so-called guideline papers that aim at framing and detailing the research in the individual work packages were the center of discussions followed by an in depth analysis of focal issues within each work package. Overall, the workshop sought to find answers to fundamental methodological and contextual questions and explore synergies and inter-linkages between political and security drivers.

The two-day discussions produced wide-range results in terms of the methodology which is going to be used within both work packages and a deepened administrative guidance for the involved researchers. Thus, the joint workshop was a great opportunity for FEUTURE researchers from WP 2 and WP 4 to have fruitful face to face debates and to coordinate further steps within their research.

Leader of Work Package 2 “Political Drivers”: Eduard Soler i Lecha (CIDOB)

Leader of Work Package 4 “Security Drivers”: Sinan Ülgen (EDAM)

Joint Workshop of WP 3 & 5 in Ankara

1 / 3

Joint WP 3-5 Meeting, Ankara, 26-27 September 2016

On 26 and 27 September TEKPOL and CES from Middle East Technical University (METU) organised and hosted the joint workshop of the FEUTURE Work Packages "Economic Drivers" (WP 3) and "Energy and Climate Drivers" (WP 5) at METU, Ankara.

The workshop gathered FEUTURE researchers from Istituto Affari Internazionali (Leader of WP5), EDAM, ELIAMEP, Koc University, University of Cologne, MERI and AUC.  The workshop aimed at detailing the research of these two work packages in light of the overall trajectory of EU-Turkey relations  as well as the recent developments in Turkey and on the global scene, with their repercussions for the neighbourhood countries and the FEUTURE Project.

Therefore,  the one and a half day lasting discussions started with a presentation and debate on FEUTURE’s set of ideal type scenarios and the historical driver ‘narratives’. Afterwards, participants found the opportunity to engage in a detailed debate on the economic as well as energy and climate drivers and the methodology of the work packages’ research. The results of the debate will feed into the finalisation of the guideline papers of WP 3 and WP 5, which will structure the respective research. This workshop successfully kicked-off research in these two work packages and provided an opportunity for FEUTURE researchers to meet face to face to coordinate their research and engage in fruitful debates.

Joint Workshop of WP 6 & 7 in Athens

1 / 2

On September 23rd, 2016 the first workshop of the WP6 'Migration Drivers' and WP7 'Identity and Culture Drivers'

was held in Athens, Greece. Hosted by ELIAMEP, in cooperation with Koç University, the workshop sought to identify commonalities and shared issues of research between the two work packages. Partners participating discussed their respective tasks and methodological approach, enabling also an exchange of information and ideas between the two teams. The workshop concluded that particularly on contemporary events, there is an overlap between the work packages as regards drivers (for example visa liberalization) and that the teams will maintain an exchange of resources and information, where needed, to incorporate each other’s findings in the respective material produced.


FEUTURE Briefing

Briefing with the Turkish Ambassador in Spain, Ömer Önhon, Barcelona

On 6 September 2016, CIDOB hosted the Turkish ambassador in Spain, Ömer Önhon, to discuss the recent political developments in Turkey in light of the failed coup attempt on the 15th of July. Throughout the briefing, debates centred up on the domestic and international implications of the coup attempt and the post-coup measures, ongoing tensions with European and Transatlantic allies as well as understanding strategy in Syria. 

FEUTURE Kick-off Conference

1 / 3

Taking Stock of EU-Turkey Relations: A Successful Kick-off for FEUTURE

On 26 and 27 May 2016 the research project “The Future of EU-Turkey Relations: Mapping Dynamics and Testing Scenarios” (FEUTURE) funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme was officially launched. About 100 participants including researchers from the consortium, distinguished Turkey experts, stakeholders and practitioners from Turkey, the European Union (EU) and the neighbourhood, as well as students and the wider interested public got together at the FEUTURE Kick-Off Conference in Istanbul. This event was hosted by Istanbul Bilgi Universitesi.

During the debate of the first day, which was open to the public, different views as to which path relations will most likely take in the future were exchanged and discussed in light of FEUTURE’s research aims and design. FEUTURE’s broad assessment of this relationship acknowledges the depth and intensity of relations between Turkey and the EU. It will combine both a look ‘backwards’ through its analysis of narratives which have shaped the debate in Turkey and the EU in different phases with a forward-looking approach which aims at delineating a most likely scenario(s) for the future and related policy recommendations. All participants welcomed this project and its research approach, because they felt that at this point in time substantial and ambitious research on EU-Turkey relations is highly relevant.

Debating FEUTURE’s Research Design: Future Scenarios and Historical Narratives

The first day of the conference focused on discussing FEUTURE’s scenarios and narratives at two high-level panels with the project’s researchers and renowned Turkey experts from the project’s Scientific and Policy Advisory Board. The aim was to update the project’s research agenda and make it fit to meet the challenges of analyzing EU-Turkey relations which constitute a ‘moving target’ par excellence. 

At the first panel, chaired by Funda Tekin (FEUTURE Project Director), Nathalie Tocci (FEUTURE Scientific Coordinator) presented three ideal-type scenarios (Convergence, Cooperation, Conflict) that will be tested through FEUTURE’s research in the upcoming three years. Overall, Tocci identified coexisting trends and concluded that for the project this will also mean that research will most probably not identify only one most likely scenario but rather delineate a mix of their features. Andrew Duff (former MeP), Nilgün Arisan Eralp (TEPAV) and Ronald Linden (University of Pittburgh) agreed and particularly stressed the need for flexibility in these three scenarios. Furthermore they encouraged “out of the box”-thinking by scrutinizing the EU’s relationship with other (new) external countries.

The second panel, chaired by Senem Aydin-Düzgit (Bilgi University), elaborated on the project’s ‘backward perspective’ of EU-Turkey relations in form of the historical analysis of narratives. Wolfgang Wessels (FEUTURE Project Director) and Atila Eralp (METU) presented this part of FEUTURE research that starts from the assumption that a critical assessment of the history of EU-Turkey relations is a key element for delineating scenarios for the future. Therefore, the research aims to 1. map the milestones and periods of EU-Turkey relations and 2. identify the most salient narratives, which have shaped the political debate both in the EU and in Turkey during different historical phases. The representatives from the FEUTURE Scientific and Policy Advisory Board, Albert Rohan (Independent Commission on Turkey), Ofra Bengio (Tel Aviv University) and Meltem Müftüler-Bac (Sabanci University) further contextualized the narrative analysis of EU-Turkey relations by elaborating on four key-terms that have been used in the past and present in order to structure the interrelatedness of the EU and Turkey: 1. Bridge, 2. Model, 3. Orientation and 4. Asset. Additionally, the debate critically assessed the question of how relevant history really was for the present and what the added value of a historical analysis was in light of EU-Turkey relations. Finally, the importance of understanding the EU integration process itself for analysing EU-Turkey relations was underlined.  

Getting Started with the Research: Workshops on the Second Day

The second day provided the researchers from the consortium the possibility to familiarize themselves with the details of FEUTURE research. The Work Package (WP) Leaders organized parallel workshops on the six thematic dimensions that FEUTURE will analyse: politics, economics, security, energy/climate, migration, identity/culture. It will be the aim of their research to identify the drivers that determine the relations from these different perspectives. At these workshops in the morning of 27 May 2016, the WP leaders together with their research teams prepared the first steps and updated their research designs with regard to the latest developments. 

In a ‘synthesis and outreach’ session led by Nathalie Tocci and Sinan Ülgen the consortium discussed the third phase of the project, which will synthesise and test these results within one or more scenario(s) with the aim of producing policy recommendations. The Kick-Off Conference concluded within the first meeting of the FEUTURE General Assembly, in which the partners’ representatives discussed matters concerning the consortium as a whole.

Read here the detailed conference report.

Kick Off Conference on May 26 and May 27, 2016 in Istanbul


On 26 and 27 May 2016 the FEUTURE Kick-Off Conference in Istan-bul will officially launch the project’s activities including a keynote ad-dress by H.E. Ambassador Rauf Engin Soysal, Undersecretary of the Ministry for EU Affairs.

The conference is hosted by Istanbul Bilgi University. On Thursday 26 May 2016 more than 50 researchers from the FEUTURE consortium will debate with external researchers, students and stakeholders FEUTURE’s three ideal-type scenarios as well as narra-tives of EU-Turkey relations. The members of the FEUTURE Scientific and Policy Advisory Board will pro-vide their expertise to the debate.

The second day of the conference, Friday 27 May 2016, aims for in-depth discussions among the consor-tium members on research within individual work packages. The conference concludes with the first meeting of the FEUTURE General As-sembly.

Click here for the programme