terça-feira, 7 de novembro de 2017

Turkey & EU need each other

Since the establishment of the European Economic Community (EEC), in 1958, Turkey has been trying to establish closer links with Europe. This interest which Turkey has shown, became concrete with the signing of the Ankara Agreement on September 12, 1963, aimed at accelerating mutual economic progress, increasing trade relations and reducing differences between Turkey and the EEC. Since then, the economic relations between the EU and Turkey have increased significantly. In 1995, the EU-Turkey Customs Union started to be implemented and in 1999 Turkey became a candidate country for accession to the European Union and in 2005 accession negotiations started.
Over a period of decades, Turkey's economy has greatly integrated with the European Union. The EU-Turkey Customs Union and accession negotiations have played a crucial role in facilitating this integration process, which has gone beyond eliminating other restrictions on customs duties as well as on industrial and processed agricultural products. Customs union supported Turkey's adaptation to the technical aspects of the acquis, encouraged the vertical integration of Turkish firms in European production networks and supported the modernization of Turkey's customs administration. In addition, the ongoing accession negotiations have provided a framework that allows Turkey to follow economic reforms.
Although the tone of the mutual disclosures between Turkey and the European Union has been getting stronger in recent days, the experts point out that they are not able to give up of each other, especially in what concerns the economic issues. The death sentences following the coup attempt in Turkey, concerns about human rights violations and the threat of abrogating Erdogan's refugee agreement caused the EU-Turkey relations to retreat. Austria's Prime Minister Christian Kern claimed that Turkey would be dragged into the EU without the EU, and then demanded that negotiations be stopped.
According to experts' evaluations, especially when viewed from an economic standpoint, as mentioned, the two sides also need each other. The data show that the European Union (EU) is particularly important for the Turkish economy. The European Union is Turkey's largest trading partner. According to the latest report of the Ministry of Customs and Trade, as of June, the share of the European Union in Turkey's exports rose to 48.5 percent. In the first six months of 2016, this figure was $32 billion, continuing its steady progress, while exports of $64 billion were made to the EU by the end of 2015. 64 percent of investments made in Turkey are EU-funded. In terms of direct investment, not just exports, the EU has an important weight in the Turkish economy. As of June 30, about 50 thousand foreign companies registered with the Ministry of Economy data set are 23 EU based. According to the data of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, these companies realized 64 percent of the direct investments in Turkey as of May. Considering the size of the direct investments between May 2002 and May 16, it turns out that the weight of the EU in the investments made in Turkey is 92 percent.
EU anchor is also important in terms of economic confidence. Bahçeşehir University Faculty Member, Dr. Seyfettin Gürsel, noted that the European Union is very important for Turkey, especially in terms of direct investments. Prior to 2005, Gürsel said that Turkey had attracted 2-3 billion dollars of international direct investment, and this year the direct investments with the EU started negotiations with the EU, reaching 15-18 billion dollars. Gursel said that the relations with the EU show a tendency to deteriorate. He said that without the EU, the Turkish economy will not collapse, but the growth will lead to a tempo shift and welfare losses will be experienced.
According to Selva Demiralp, Koç University Instructor Assoc., relations with the EU are not only important in terms of trade and investment figures but also in terms of confidence in the Turkish economy. Stating that Turkey's relations with the EU have made a significant economic development between 2002 and 2006, Demiralp emphasized that the EU anchor is still important for the perception of the Turkish economy.
Turkey is the 5th largest trade partner of the EU. It is also seen that Turkey is in an important position in terms of EU economy. Turkey has become the 5th largest trading partner of Europe. According to the European Commission's Directorate General for Trade, the EU exports to Turkey averaged 1.9 per cent year-on-year between 2011 and 2014, but rose to 5.9 per cent in 2015. Trade volume between the countries of the Union and Turkey was $ 142.6 billion in 2015. It is seen as an EU that gains from foreign trade between the two sides. The EU's trade with Turkey exceeded 14.6 billion dollars in 2015.
Europe finds quality workforce in Turkey. Parallel to this, the evaluations of experts who closely follow EU-Turkey relations point out that Turkey is an important part of the EU economy. EU expert Can Baydarol said that the Turkish market is critical for Europe, dealing with problems such, as the refugee crisis and the separation of Britain from the union, at the same time fighting the recession threat. Baydarol pointed out that our economic dynamism has moved to the east, and in this regard, the EU cannot take Turkey out of sight.
Bilgi University European Union Relations Program Instructor, Emre Gönen pointed out, that the human power grown in Turkey is important for EU. Noting that a famous French automotive brand carries the machines at its factory in Belgium to its factory in Turkey, Gönen stated that the quality of human power in Turkey is effective in taking this decision.

Esin Gedikoğlu

[artigo de opinião produzido no âmbito da unidade curricular “Economia Portuguesa e Europeia” do 3º ano do curso de Economia (1º ciclo) da EEG/UMinho]

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