In Search of a More Perfect Union With Turkey

MIN READDec 21, 2016 | 22:56 GMT

Though talks over Turkey's prospective membership in the European Union have made little progress, Ankara could have better luck expanding its trade agreement with Brussels.

(CHRIS MCGRATH/Getty Images)

For Turkey and the European Union, economic integration seems to happen more quickly than political integration does. Negotiations over the country's accession have made little progress since Turkey was declared an official candidate to join the European Union in 1999. By contrast, trade ties between the European Union and Turkey have flourished over the past two decades. The two have been party to a customs union since December 1995, though the agreement's foundation has been in place since the 1970s, and today, the European Union is Turkey's main trade partner. Even after months of mounting tension between Brussels and Ankara, their trade relationship seems more or less unfazed. On Wednesday, the EU Commission asked the governments of the Continental bloc for a mandate to start negotiations to update and expand the customs union. The request serves as a reminder that despite their differences, Turkey and the European Union are still...

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