Briefing Paper

Project: Europe Programme, Turkey Project

Philip Hanson
  • Russia and Turkey, significant powers on the fringes of the European Union, both have awkward relations with Brussels.
  • As Russia's and Turkey’s strength becomes greater and the EU’s declines, the relationships between them will increasingly involve political as well as economic factors.
  • Turkey is economically and politically closer to Europe than Russia is, while Russia’s relationship with Europe mainly consists of a mutual energy dependency.
  • Russia's unpredictable business environment remains a key constraint on its deeper integration with the EU. The Turkish economy faces challenges, but Turkey has a much better business environment than Russia.
  • The EU's own economic deficiencies suggest that it needs to remain circumspect in dealing with both countries. But Turkey, in particular, should be considered more of a foreign policy partner.