4th TURKEY - EUROPE FORUM
“New Era of Turkey - EU Perspective, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Opportunities and Risks”
FINAL DECLARATION ( DRAFT )
1 - “4th Turkey - Europe Forum” was held in a very intimate and warm atmosphere in Istanbul on 21 - 22 November 2013.
During Forum held by cooperation of Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Research (TASAM), it has been focused on the main theme of “New Era of Turkey - EU Perspective, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Opportunities and Risks”. Many politicians, diplomatic mission representatives, think tank and NGO representatives, academicians and press members have attended to the meeting. EU’s current situation and its relations with Turkey were analyzed from perspective of Turkey and Europe were analyzed, the aims and scope of continuing “Transatlantic Partnership” process with the EU and USA were studied, short and long-term consequences were examined with all the components in a multi-dimension during the Forum.
2 - During Forum the topics of “Future of EU: Steps of Economical and Political Union”, “Present Situation and Economy Politics in the EU and Turkey relations”, “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): Aims and Difficulties”, “TTIP and Its Effects on EU Politics”, “TTIP and Expectations and Previsions of Turkey” and “TTIP and Its Effect on International Economic Security and Multidimensional Relations” have been discussed and provided to understanding clearly and interpret with comments and questions of speakers and audiences from various countries representing different perspectives.
European Identity is built on three pillars; tradition of Ancient Greek philosophy, Roman law tradition and the Christian tradition… Identity formation in Europe has led to the emergence of the phenomenon of Islamophobia. In this regards, opinions which summarizing the EU policy towards Turkey are focused on act of Turkey in harmony with EU policy as a part the EU but not to take place in the EU. Opinions from Europe find these bilateral relations very complicated and evaluate that the insistence on some issues by two sides push the process to be difficult. .
4 - Turkey can not be a member of several global partnerships (Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Customs Union, etc.) at the same time. So Turkey must choose the way through and It will need to reshape the policies under the future terms of TTIP if Customs Union membership will be continued. Also, Turkey can face huge losses if do not take part in TTIP within the case of Customs Union member without EU membership. This means that Turkish foreign policy is affected by this situation in practice.
5 - Probably the main factors in the creation of TTIP; necessity of alliance in the West against occurring new markets in Asia (like China and India), relations in the World Trade Organization are multilateral and so complex, EU’s requirement of global scale comprehensive reform for definite exit from economic crises. All these factors were built on disruptions about the global economic order. In this context, it can be seen that this agreement were designed with “protectionist” approach. The measures against China is not clear but TTIP seems a step for directly intervene to Chinese foreign policy especially by Chinese academics.
6 - TTIP will involve approximately 12% of the world population but create world’s largest market. Moreover, it is considered to be a positive effect to unemployment that become one of the greatest dilemmas of global economy. Despite these effects, its negative impacts to Mexico and Canada such as Turkey are predictable. As a result of this partnership talks, exports from USA to EU will increase 33% and abolition of customs tariff is being considered.
7 - According to main statistics, industrial area between the EU and the USA contains very high amounts of capital and money in generally. This substantial economic presence in the partnership agreement will have two main effects: on the one hand, it will provide critical benefits like decrease of prices for consumers; on the other hand EU-USA Common Market will give rise to most powerful economic structure in the global competition. In this process, some of the laws and rules will gain power and some will get corrections or remove. Consumer protection laws should be assessed in advance innovatively in this perspective.
8 - When the future of EU is discussed, problems of the safety based union arise. EU is moving towards to become part of the global world. But this process push the EU to choose be a part of new economic order or stay in own regional system.
9 - General opinion is Turkey’s EU membership bid should remain constant but there are reservations about the common currency (Euro). The reasons of this can be seen as Euro’s instability and possible incompatibility with Turkey’s economy. One of the dominate opinions is Euro has disadvantages more than the advantages as the currency. The euro area is concerned with especially import-export based industry companies and business mechanism. For this reason, crisis in Greece is not vital for Euro but same situation in Spain or Italy will trigger the emergency for the Eurozone.
10 - Construction of infrastructure in economic development is one of the most important points. Only in this way base of mobility and flexibility can be provided. When the conventional security measures in the context of current policies are considered, this economic approach should be adopted. It is clear that TTIP will affect the global economic system. The new term as “Economic NATO” may be used freely ever after for this new agreement on Transatlantic area where the new economic system and security policies affect each other.
11 - Turkey, which has close relations politically and economically with both sides of the agreement, will be influenced in any case. For this reason, while EU and USA in the process of TTIP agreement, Turkey should begin multilateral negotiations with both of EU and USA. It is clear that Turkey is in process of “Free Trade Agreements” with many countries at the same time but USA will be taken primacy in all these countries.
12 - The first eleven items outlined in the strategic concept in parallel; negativities –especially in the economic sense- between Turkey, EU Member States and EU were clarified and sources of them were questioned. Realistically question of “what can be done” have been investigated rather than “needs to be done” when searching solutions. TTIP agreement between the EU and USA will affect how the world is expressed in a tangible way. This agreement and its domain issues, changes in the economic systems and finally new partners - new opponents are determined. Future vision of Turkey with both sides which have very high volume of trade attempted to determine. Effects of TTIP to Turkey cause of the engagement of both commercial as well as signed directly have been revealed.
22 November 2013, Istanbul