1 February 2013
Brussels ESI at EPC policy dialogue: Visa Liberalisation and Turkey - What progress?
Talking about Tukey's prospects for a visa free regime with the EU – Gerald Knaus, Amanda Paul, Henrik Ankerstjerne, and Elizabeth Collett. Photo: EP
Talking about Turkey's prospects for a visa free regime with the EU – Gerald Knaus, Amanda Paul, Henrik Ankerstjerne, and Elizabeth Collett. Photo: EPC

The European Policy Centre (EPC) and the European Stability Initiative (ESI) organised a joint Policy Dialogue, on 1 February, on Visa liberalisation and Turkey – What progress?

Turkey faces an important decision: will it embark on the visa liberalisation process that the EU is offering? If yes, Ankara will have to carry out a number of reforms in the area of justice and home affairs. These are listed in a “roadmap towards a visa-free regime with Turkey”, which the EU finalised in December 2012. Turkey will inter alia have to step up efforts to stem irregular transit migration through the country to the EU, implement a readmission agreement with the EU, and build up a functioning asylum system.  It is reassuring for Turkey that a number of other countries have already successfully completed a roadmap process based on the same benchmarks and been granted visa-free travel in the end. However, can Turkey trust the EU? Can it rely on the promise of visa-free travel if it carries out all the reforms? Are there other ways for Turkey to obtain visa liberalisation, such as through rights emanating from its Association Agreement with the EU? Finally, how challenging are the required reforms?

These and other questions were discussed by a panel of experts, including Gerald Knaus, Chairman of the European Stability Initiative, Henrik Ankerstjerne, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice of Denmark, and Elizabeth Collett, Director of Migration Policy Institute Europe & Senior Advisor to MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration. The event will be moderated by Amanda Paul, EPC Policy Analyst.

Presentation by Gerald Knaus: Trust, Turkey and the road to visa liberalisation

EPC Event report


This event was well attended and held under the auspices of the EPC's European Politics and Institutions programme. It has been organised in cooperation with the European Stability Initiative with the financial support of Stiftung Mercator.


EPC     ESI     Stiftung Mercator

About us
Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com