21 October 2011
ESI in Brussels: Public ESI event at the EPC on visa free travel for Turkey
Brussels. Photo: flickr/Rob Dewfall
A child and two women holding Turkey and EU balloons. Photo: World Bank

21 October 2011, 10:30-12:00

Max Kohnstamm Room, 4th Floor, Résidence Palace
Rue de la Loi 155
1040 Brussels

EU-Turkey relations – Towards visa liberalisation?


Unless you work for an EU institution, please make sure that your organisation is an EPC member since this event is restricted to EPC members.

The European Policy Centre (EPC) and the European Stability Initiative (ESI) are pleased to invite you to a Policy Dialogue on EU-Turkey relations - Towards visa liberalisation?, on 21 October.

Since the EU lifted visa requirements for five Western Balkan countries, Turkey has been demanding the same. Turkey has been negotiating membership with the EU since October 2005, yet remains the only candidate country under visa obligation. Nor is there an official road map or action plan for visa liberalisation.

Earlier this year, the EU and Turkey negotiated a readmission agreement, which is a precondition for a visa liberalisation process. However, Turkey is refusing to proceed with signature and ratification unless it is officially offered a visa liberalisation process. Such a process would lead to internal security reforms in Turkey which, in turn, would enhance the EU's own security and help fight illegal migration. But a number of EU member states remain opposed to the idea, fearing a wave of illegal workers and migrants, should the visa requirement be lifted.

With Turkish resentment running high over the EU position, what are the likely repercussions of this impasse on EU-Turkey relations? Is there a way out and what would be the real impact of any visa liberalisation process? These and other questions were discussed by a panel of experts, including:

  • Selim Kuneralp, Head of the Turkish Permanent Delegation to the EU
  • Franziska Katharina Brantner, Member of the European Parliament and Foreign Policy Speaker of the Group of Greens/European Free Alliance
  • Filip Jasiński, Counsellor for Justice and Home Affairs at the Polish Permanent Representation to the EU
  • Gerald Knaus, Chairman of the European Stability Initiative

The event was moderated by Amanda Paul, EPC Policy Analyst.

EPC, "Policy Dialogue on EU-Turkey relations - Towards visa liberalisation?" (21 October 2011)


This event was 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 part-funding by the European Union.

EPC     ESI     European Commission