EU-Türkiye relations: Macroeconomic situation and EU financial support

Briefing 31-08-2023

Following the backsliding in democratic standards that occurred after the unsuccessful coup of 2016 and the Council of the European Union's June 2018 decision ruling out the opening of any new EU accession negotiation chapters, accession talks with Türkiye are frozen. The disputes in the eastern Mediterranean that involved some Member States, as well as the military engagement of Türkiye in Syria, provided additional tensions in relations with the EU in 2019 and 2020. In February 2020, the Commission did not mention Türkiye in its communication on the accession process setting out its new enlargement methodology. Since December 2020, a relative reduction in tension in the eastern Mediterranean has allowed the EU to re-engage with Ankara on important areas of cooperation, including modernisation of the customs union, in line with the 2016 EU-Türkiye statement, despite no advances on this specific issue. Some progress in EU-Türkiye relations has been achieved through High-level Dialogues that are held alongside regular EU-Türkiye Summits; however, the High-level Dialogue meetings on energy remain suspended. Following the re-election of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in May 2023, the European Council conclusions of 29-30 June invited the High Representative and the Commission to submit a report to the European Council on the state of play of EU-Türkiye relations. In recent years, the EU has made certain EU funds accessible to Türkiye, including through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA). In addition, in 2022 the EU established the Türkiye Investment Platform to support economic growth, innovation and green investment. Furthermore, substantial refugee assistance was delivered under the EU's humanitarian and development aid instruments, mainly through the EU Facility for Refugees in Türkiye (2016-2019) and additional refugee funding mobilised by the EU in 2020-2023. Finally, following the February 2023 earthquakes, the EU, Member States and international donors provided humanitarian aid as well.