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Economic Drivers

This Work Package aims at identifying key economic drivers of economic cohesion within EU-Turkey relations since 1999 and at substantiating one or more likely scenarios for this relationship. In economic terms, future scenarios could result in different options ranging from a continuation or modernization of the Customs Union, its scaling back to a free trade agreement, or Turkey’s entry into the single market. General determinants for the different scenarios would be Turkey’s capability to comply with the economic Copenhagen Criteria (especially regarding the institutional setup) as well as the economic challenges the EU is facing. 

Additionally, the analysis of this WP identifies four main focal pillars that structure the EU-Turkey economic relations and are likely to shape future outcomes: 

  1. Flows of goods and services (particularly the past and the future of the Customs Union); 
  2. Flows of finance;
  3. Flows of knowledge as well as 
  4. Key political economy developments such as the prospects for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Eurasian Economic Union. 

As all thematic work packages of FEUTURE, this WP's research agenda addresses two questions: (1) What economic drivers are relevant and what is their constellations? (2) What are the most prominent drivers both within each focal pillar and across them? 

WP3 has started to investigate the existing economic drivers and, based on these drivers, tries to identify others that may play a role in the future of EU-Turkey relations. In the later stages of the project the analysis will determine the impact of these identified drivers by weighing and ranking them with the aim of substantiating one or more of the project’s three proposed scenarios – Conflict, Cooperation and Convergence (see FEUTURE Background Paper). The WP also aims to provide a synthesis of policy efforts that not only fit the Europe 2020 Strategy but also address the challenges that the European Commission’s annual progress reports raise.


Understanding the EU-Turkey Sectoral Trade Flows During 1990-2016: a Trade Gravity Approach by Charilaos Mertzanis (November 2017)

The Financial Flows and the Future of EU-Turkey Relations by Hasan Cömert (November 2017)

Knowledge Cohesion in European Regions: Convergence and Cohesion with Turkey by I. Semih Akcomak, Erkan Erdil, Umut Yilmaz Cetinkaya (November 2017)


Researchers involved:

Middle East Technical University

Erkan Erdil (WP leader), I. Semih Akcomak, Hasan Cömert, Muhsin Dogan, Cansu Durukan

Caucasus Research Resource Center Georgia

Koba Turmanidze, Tsisana Khundadze, Rati Shubladze, George Berulava

Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies

Yeşil Deniz, Can Selçuki

Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy

Panagiota Manoli

American University in Cairo

Marco Pinfari, Justine Louis

University of Cologne

Funda Tekin, Wolfgang Wessels