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Turkey and the European Union

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Integration is a unification process across the whole world that increases interstate relations in terms of social, economic, technological, and political changes. Political and economic integration is an aspect of globalization, which is an inevitable process whereby people realize that there is interrelation globally. This paper will seek to determine whether potential interrelation could be enhanced by Intergovernmental agencies or the countries themselves. It will also evaluate whether integration might facilitate global economic and political welfare.

Effective governance results into a peaceful coexistence among various countries in the world. Knowing that the EU threatens individual country’s sovereignty by dictating terms to them and interfere with their political rights and privileges, Turkey has stayed out of the economic block for many years. The research will also focus on the controversial ideas about Turkey in its bid to become a member of the European Union. This will be in terms of the benefits and the effects in the relationship of Turkey with Greece and Cyprus if Turkey enters the EU.

The questions to be addressed in this paper are important because they will evaluate the significance of cooperation between countries falling within a particular geographic region. They will also address particular interest within the EU integration and ways in which Turkey would exploit the opportunities that comes with the integration. The questions are relevant to different countries and regional economic blocks in ascertaining the mutual benefits for each party.  

Thesis Statement

Even though regional integration has facilitated international relations such as the formation of the European Union (EU), it is a threat to the concept of state sovereignty. This is evidenced in the relationships between Turkey and the EU as presented in this research paper.

Benefits that Turkey and the European Union will Gain

There are several benefits that Turkey and the EU will gain if they agree to work together. Many countries had very high expectation at the beginning of the operations of the European Union. Therefore, it means that when Turkey expressed interest to join the union, the economic block had a lot of hope that it will benefit from the integration and eliminate its isolation from the EU. However, not much has been borne from the operations of the European Union. Indeed most member countries of the Union still experience decelerating economic growth, increased unemployment, high cost of doing business, ineffective application of economic policies among others.

Turkey also expected to benefit from such weaknesses evidenced in some member countries. It should be noticed that the stability and growth pact that was introduced to stabilize prices also turned to be restrictive, hence the dominant countries have an undue advantage over the less dominant ones. In addition to these, the European Integration was also assumed to have restrictive demand effects on the stability, and growth pact due to a fall in the public consumption in the European countries in the integration. The benefits that Turkey and EU will enjoy from their corporation were expected to override significant decrease manifested in the losing countries. Some of the benefits are as outlined below.

Acquisition and Enhancement of Power

Firstly, since the European Union is one of the biggest and powerful global powers and has a great effect on the world economy, the entry of Turkey will increase its superiority due to the economic, political and military capability of the country. There will be mutual benefits for both parties because Turkey will have the opportunity to express its agricultural interests on other countries by using the Union as a shield. On the other hand, the EU will be bold in approaching international conflict and diplomatic relations due to the military and intellectual contribution from Turkey.

Economic, Political and Military Benefits

Secondly, any action that Europe takes will immediately have effects on the rest of the world and on the way it works. Taking this position in perspective, if Turkey operates outside the EU, the latter’s decisions will grossly affect the economic, political and military operations in the country. Economic theorists argue that joining the union will be of great significance to the country as its military base will not be destabilized by the decisions that the EU makes. As a member country, the EU will not take adverse measures when dealing with Turkey. In this case, the EU will also benefit when dealing with countries closely working with Turkey since the latter might influence the union’s interest in such regions. In addition, the EU’s decisions about countries that engage in mutual business with Turkey will only be done after joint consultation so the planned actions proceed without much interference.

Reducing Power Struggles

Thirdly, joining the EU will reduce power struggles between the union and Turkey. Since the union views itself as a regional superpower, the emergence of Turkey as a powerful country poses a threat to the EU, thus the country is better embraced into the union than left to operate alone. The question of power struggle will be solved because the country will thereafter operate under the policies of the union and any arising conflict will be addressed using agreed legal and institutional mechanisms. This will create unity in Europe and neighboring states, leading to global peace. If Turkey joins the EU, it will boost the union’s power to control the economic, social and political conditions in Europe and other parts of the world. 

Resource Capability    

Fourthly, Turkey has been going up the ranks as to their economy, military power, natural resources and fertile farmlands (De Vreese, Boomgaarden and Semetko 156). These capabilities make it favorable for the EU because the latter would acquire financial and military power needed to implement its policies in other countries (Aydin and Nedret 134). Every economic block, such as the EU needs to be capacitated to deal with arising issues and must be able to fund its operations to maintain power and authority. This makes it beneficial for the union to embrace Turkey.

Enhancing the Union’s Competitiveness

The other benefit is that the recent emphasis of the European Union concerning its competitiveness has made the union friendlier to Turkey because of the latter’s success in business operations, political arrangement and military strength (Aydin and Nedret 137). In fact, the EU has also expressed the desire to collaborate with Turkey in decision making, mainly for mutual benefits. As a result, Turkey dropped its traditional ways of decision making and adopted what they called a collaborative approach with the union that the country views as more proactive. The constructive decision that Turkey embraced led to a similar attacking approaches that the EU is currently implementing, making the country anticipate significant agricultural development from the integration.

 Notably, such attacking approaches are used in business to influence potential clients by attacking the services that the opponent provides. The EU being an umbrella of various states has to play a collaborative role in ensuring that one state does not infringe onto the rights of another. It is also such a collaborative approach that made the EU work together with Turkey to reap from their agreement. Turkey would therefore exploit its resources and increasing power to have a voice in the cooperation. This cooperation was essential for enhancing Turkey’s economic performance within the union and as a country in Europe.    

 The Effects in the Relationship of Turkey with Greece and Cyprus if Turkey Enters the EU

The relationship between Turkey and the EU might not better the long going argument about its interaction with Greece and Cyprus as anticipated. Once Turkey joins the EU, its relationship of with Greece and Cyprus will certainly be affected. Despite the benefits that the EU and Turkey will enjoy by working together, there is a potential threat. For instance, the short run relationship that Turkey has had with Greece does not have great importance to outsiders, it will have an impact when the country finally joins the EU.

Policy Differences

Economic policy differences and the variations in democratic space between the EU and Greece could hinder the operations of Turkey on both sides. Turkey might not consider dropping its social and economic relationship with Greece, but try to mediate the ideological differences at play. For example, Greece has, for a long time, embraced the socialist ideology while the EU adopts capitalism, which is more democratic. These are two antagonistic ideologies that may not work in favor of the EU should Turkey abandons its relationship with Greece. Therefore, any disagreements that these two countries will have, and can greatly affect the economy, the EU and democracy in the whole world as a whole in the long run. In fact, ideological differences between Greece and EU might affect the relationship that the country enjoys with Turkey if the latter happens to join the union.

Socially Distinct Winners

Coming from a socialist perspective, Greece understands that the European integration has created socially distinct winners due to social transformations that characterized Europe. Social winners may have resulted from the fact that many of the member states, have had a long history of political development and maturity due to their capitalistic mode of production (Jacoby 46). On the other hand, some member states just gained independence recently after long periods of war. Therefore, the member states formed after long periods of war may be lacking many structures to compete effectively.

Moreover, equal job opportunities that the two countries enjoy will greatly be affected if Turkey joins the EU. The available manpower will be required to help articulate the union’s policies. Ideally, the EU policies have not been received well by some member countries whose citizens are being locked out of employment opportunities in other union member states because they may not have experts who are able to compete effectively. This kind of scenario has in turn created two distinct societies within one union. The first society is that of member states that cannot compete effectively with other members and the second one is, the society of union members who have all the expertise required. Therefore, the perceived winner members are able to secure jobs, eventually; the citizens abroad contribution to economic developments of their home countries through foreign exchange and this may continue widening the economic gap between member states.

Some union member states have been seen winners because of the kind of education and training systems they offer. Some European Union member countries like Germany, Britain and Italy have some of the best educational training institutions in Europe. The available academic institutions attract students from the union member states, and even other countries in the world not found in the union. This might not go down well with Greece. Educational facilities in the alleged winner countries are so advanced compared to Greece and Cyprus. They offer advanced training opportunities to the highest possible levels in areas like information and communication technology, medical teaching and referral as well as social science studies in areas that are progressive and meet the demand of the current world requirements.

These perceived educational differences might create friction between Turkey’s interests and those of its economic and social partners, including Greece and Cyprus. Unfortunately, member states that do not have reputable academic institutions may lose to others, thus their universities do not generate much income, due to unfavorable competition occasioned by the liberalized education system among the European nations, an issue that did not go down well with Turkey. In this regard, some of the Turkey’s manpower already in Greece and Cyprus might be forced to leave the country for better opportunities in other EU member states. This might erode the relations between Turkey and Greece or Cyprus.

Institutionalization

Another area where social winners are perceived is in the institutionalization of matters regarding citizenship and social dialogue. The European Union laws allow citizens of member states to request for dual nationality in any of the countries that fall within the economic block. This will attract Turkey to collaborate with the EU more than it might engage in business with the Greece or Cyprus, a situation that will erode the relationship that the two countries have enjoyed (Icener, Phinnemore and Papadimitriou 87). This has been advantageous to some states because the registered citizens are able to trade easily without being subjected to laws that govern international trade. The registered citizens especially those from superior countries may import superior goods.

 Essentially, this registration may deny other local traders a large part of the domestic market, since people will go for more quality goods imported at little or no cost of the registered citizens. This restriction from EU has always created jitters in the least developed states and to new entrants like Turkey because the profit accrued from such a trade may eventually be channeled back to the country where the goods had come from. Turkey may not be happy with this arrangement since it will create trade imbalances. Therefore, a new partner state like Turkey may develop faster than the rest owing to massive resources in the country. In this regard, increased economic in power that Turkey will gain might reduce its collaboration with either Greece and Cyprus or makes it exploit these countries more. Such occurrence might affect the relationship between Turkey and the two countries.

Conclusion

In summary, the relationship between Turkey and the European Union has led to a lot of concerns among the countries that had a previous working relationship with the country. The theoretical and objective arguments about this issue are controversial and conclusion is mainly drawn based on one’s understanding and perspective taken. However, certain points remain outstanding. For instance, the fact that entering the EU will definitely empower Turkey to express its economic, farming and political interests in Europe. Secondly, the EU will benefit from the input that Turkey might inject into the integration block in military, economical, and political areas. Therefore, no one can downplay the significance of mutual relationship between Turkey and the EU, each of them benefits from such integration arrangement. The other important thing to note is that the integration between Turkey and the EU will have a profound impact on the country’s relations with Greece and Cyprus. The two countries might not cope with the economic conditions that the integration might impose on Turkey, once the country formally joins the EU.

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