France and the Modernization of the EU-Turkey Customs Union: Interests and Obstacles Notes de l'Ifri, July 2020
This report is part of a joint endeavor of the Centre for Applied Turkey Studies (CATS) at Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), along with Elcano Royal Institute (ELCANO, Madrid), The Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM, Warsaw), Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI, Rome) and the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP, Athens), to open perspectives for the modernization of the European Union-Turkey Customs Union (EU-Turkey CU).
It addresses the case of France, clarifying the specific French outlook on the Europe-Turkey economic nexus and assessing French stakes in the upgrading of the current trade system.
While French business stakeholders see Turkey as a potential hub to develop activities in the Middle East and Central Asia, public authorities have become worried over France’s growing trade deficit with Turkey. Moreover, a series of political crises have recently consistently harmed the perception of Turkey both as a market and as a partner. Some disagreements also remain concerning the areas that could be newly opened up for trade. If France and Turkey formally claim to be in favor of upgrading the EU-Turkey CU, concrete opportunities for progress are thus presently hindered by the degradation of the bilateral climate.