urkey’s own success is having an impressive demonstra-tion eect in the wider Middle East thanks to its status as amajority Muslim country with enhanced democratic stan-dards, a pluralistic political system, and a vibrant economy.Deep engagement with such a country will itsel urtherthe EU’s goals in creating a more democratic, economically open, and better governed wider Middle East. By embed-ding urkish oreign policy in a deep engagement with EUstructures and policies, Europeans could invigorate andenhance their own engagement in a region central to theirinterests.
The Strategic Dialogue in Practice
In each case, the ormat would be “27+1,” with all the EUmember states participating. Te agenda should not beEU-urkey relations, as these issues should continue to bediscussed in the context o the accession process. Rather,the 27+1 should talk about strategic issues o mutualconcern, particularly in the region surrounding urkey andthe current EU members. Tis dialogue would constitute o our meetings a year, at the summit and ministerial levels.It would be complemented by a regular interaction at theworking level.
. Once a year, European CouncilPresident Herman van Rompuy should chair a specialsummit on strategic issues in the wider neighborhood,with urkey represented at the prime ministerial and/orpresidential level.
. Te urkish oreign minister and the EUhigh representative need discussions that are regularbut relatively inormal. I the dialogue is not institution-alized, it risks being disrupted by the ups and downs o the accession process and urkish politics. But i sucha dialogue is ormalized, it risks being blocked by all o
For a more detailed account of the foreign policy dialogue refer to Sinan Ulgen andHeather Grabbe, “The Way forward for Turkey and the EU: A Strategic dialogue on foreignpolicy.” Carnegie Europe, December 2010. http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publica-tions/index.cfm?fa=view&id=42129
Currently, there is no forum fordialogue on strategic issuesbetween the EU and Turkey.
the actors that have blocked the accession process. Tebest solution is to make use o the inormal “Gymnich”ormat. urkey has been attending special sessions orcandidate countries at the Gymnich since accessionnegotiations began ve years ago. Tis participationshould now be scaled up to a oreign policy dialoguebetween the urkish oreign minister and his 27 coun-terparts, chaired by Ashton.
. Te European External Action Service(EEAS) will need to nd a way to work with the polit-ical directors o the EU’s oreign ministries, and urkey could be involved in some o these new orms o coop-eration. Te Lisbon reaty replaced the useul ormat o the 27 political directors’ meeting prior to the roika.Now this ormat could be used to prepare and underpinthe political-level meetings o an annual summit andtwo ministerials a year.urkey recently proposed a regular dialogue with the EU’sPolitical and Security Committee (PSC) ambassadors andinormal policy planning talks. Tis suggestion makessense, especially as the PSC has now gained a permanentchair, who could ensure that key regional issues are coveredsystematically, including areas where urkey seeks greaterinvolvement, such as the Balkans.In addition, regular consultations with the Council workinggroups and urkish experts should also be envisaged.In particular, urkey could contribute its insight to theCouncil working groups on the Balkans and the workinggroup on the Middle East.
The Strategic Dialogue and its Problems
As much a winning strategy as it may appear, the estab-lishment o a strategic dialogue in oreign policy betweenAnkara and Brussels aces a series o obstacles. Te rstobstacle is one o perception. urkish authorities viewedsuch oers as the rst step towards the much maligned“privileged partnership,” the objective championed by theurkey-skeptics in Europe as the alternative to urkey’sEU membership. Tis was the perception that inuencedAnkara’s thinking in past years. But with the deadlock o the negotiations, Ankara warmed up to the idea o creatingnot an alternative but a complementary structure thatwould enable urkey and the EU to cooperate in areas o common concern. Cooperation in home aairs and the