European Union: Turkey is an indispensable partner
European Parliament (FILE Photo)

The European Union Strategic Foresight Reports, announced by the European Commission on 9 September 2020, are one of the efforts made to strengthen the bloc’s strength in the face of potential crises.

* Regarding Turkey, the reports spoke of the following:

Turkey is one of the rising powers like Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Russia.

The necessity of cooperation with Turkey, Norway, Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia in the face of natural disasters and emergency issues that may arise in the future.

Turkey is an important partner for cooperation, and a proper reading of this by it will contribute to the consolidation of its relations with Europe

Turkey is present in one way or another within the framework of national interests in all countries and regions that the European Union considers among its geostrategic priorities.

The attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11 terrorist attack) in the United States led to significant changes in the relations of international actors with each other, and despite the passage of twenty years since those attacks, international politics still faces security challenges different from those that existed in the twentieth century.

In this context, the European Union, which is one of the main forces in international relations, seeks to find ways to protect itself from various threats and adapt to changes during the integration journey.

The European Union began with a grouping of 6 countries in 1957, and today it has 27 members, and the stage of its integration was not easy, but it was subjected to many obstacles.

Each time, the union sought to find a way out of those pitfalls. And during the recent period, it has suffered from many problems, whether at the institutional level or in relations between member states due to the crisis caused by the Covid-19 epidemic. Many experts express their expectations clearly for the dissolution of the European Union.

In this context, the European Union Strategic Foresight Reports prepared by the European Commission and announced for the first time on 9 September 2020, are one of the efforts made to strengthen the bloc’s strength in the face of potential crises.

These reports aim to prepare the EU for the shocks ahead and help chart the future it wants.

In this context, the first strategic foresight report entitled “Making a path towards a more flexible Europe” (meaning the ability to withstand and bear pressures) confirms the increasing strength of the European Union, whether at the level of the organization or member states.

The report does not depend in its method of work on mere speculations and guesses, but rather the ability to calculate the repercussions, damages and benefits of crises that may arise, and the possibility of developing different future scenarios.

In the 2020 report, outlooks were announced in four key interrelated areas: social and economic resilience, geostrategic resilience, green resilience, and digital resilience. Among the important findings of the report was that the center of gravity in world politics shifted to the east and south.

The main directions of world politics

The second Strategic Foresight Report was announced on September 8, 2021, by Maros Sefcovic, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Institutional Relations and Foresight, entitled “EU Potential and Freedom of Action”.

The report seeks answers to questions about how the union will restructure itself in the face of future global political issues and trends.

The report identifies four major global trends for international policy: climate change and other environmental challenges, digital hyperconnectivity and technological shifts, pressures on democracy and values, global order and demographic changes.

The report expected that the world population would rise to 8.5 billion people in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050, while the European Union’s population was expected to decline to 420 million.

Turkey in European Foresight Reports

Turkey has a special significance for the European Strategic Foresight Report in terms of the issues that have been addressed in its context. While the first report did not mention it, the second mentioned it in three places, the first with Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and Russia as one of the emerging powers.

As for the second place mentioned in the report, it was in the context of emphasizing the necessity of cooperation with Turkey, Norway, Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia in the face of natural disasters and emergency issues that may arise in the future.

As understood from this assertion, the European Union sees Turkey as an important partner for cooperation. A proper reading of this by Ankara will contribute to the necessary steps to be taken to re-establish Turkish-European relations on the basis of mutual interests.

This is because talking about Turkey within the framework of cooperation to solve crises, from now on the European Union’s need for it in order to overcome future problems.

Turkey’s position among the European Union’s geostrategic priorities

As for the third position that illustrates Turkey’s position in relation to the European Union, it was in the context of talking about the union’s geostrategic priorities.

In other words, the European Union mentions Turkey while talking about its intention to strengthen and develop its strategic alliances and cooperation with some regions and countries.

Turkey has a special importance for the European Union, whether directly through bilateral relations, or indirectly, as Turkey is present in one way or another within the framework of national interests in all countries and regions that the bloc considers among its geostrategic priorities.

In the context of assessing the report from Turkey’s point of view, it should be noted here, the statements made by Turkish and European officials in recent days regarding illegal immigration.

Recently, the head of the European delegation to Turkey, Ambassador Nicholas Mayer Landrut, visited the state of Van (east), during which he stated that the two sides agreed in visions regarding the issue of combating irregular migration and smuggling of arms, people and drugs.

With regard to Afghanistan, the ambassador stated that the European Union will cooperate with Turkey to support Afghanistan’s neighboring countries in creating a safe and appropriate environment for Afghan refugees.

It is not wrong to say that the measures that the two parties will take and the joint cooperation between them in the context of combating irregular migration will concern the whole world policy and not only the region.

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