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Migration Drivers

This WP identifed key migration drivers in EU-Turkey relations and shed light on the pivotal issues influenced by these drivers and in doing so, contributed on the topic of EU-Turkey relations on migration.

Three focal issues have been identified, of mutual interest but varying importance for the EU and Turkey: skilled migration of EU citizens to Turkey, irregular migration of third country nationals transiting from Turkey to the EU and asylum seekers. All three focal issues are shaped by drivers deriving from Turkey, the EU, the neighbourhood and the global level. 

Each focal issue has a different weight and significance in the overall relationship on migration and identified a range of drivers from the four dimensions deemed critical in determining the relationship thus far but also likely important for the future.

The Work Package further identified which of the three ideal-type scenarios –  conflict, cooperation or convergence – is more likely in the future of EU-Turkey relations. The Work Package particularly addressed the following questions: Is it likely for Turkey and the EU to cooperate further on migration or drift further apart? What role will the rise of populism play on the weight attributed to migration and the willingness of Europe to outsource its management? How will Turkey’s resurgent nationalism impact the country’s approach to partnership with the EU? 

On the neighbourhood and global level, the work the package looked at the impact of the Arab Spring in bringing the EU and Turkey closer, but also the role of burden sharing – its absence and the implications for the future following the increasing linkages drawn between migration and security. 

Drivers were acknowledged by drawing extensively from interviews conducted in Athens, Ankara, Brussels, Berlin and Istanbul. The final synthesis paper emphasised the most prominent drivers for the EU and Turkey, presented the three scenarios for migration and proposed the most plausible scenario for the future of EU-Turkey relations on migration. 


Highly Skilled Migration between the EU and Turkey: Drivers and Scenarios by Elena Sánchez-Montijano, Ayhan Kaya, Melike Janine Sökmen (April 2018)

Asylum Policy and the Future of Turkey-EU Relations: Between Cooperation and Conflict by Başak Kale, Angeliki Dimitriadi, Elena Sanchez-Montijano, Elif Süm (April 2018)

EU-Turkey Relations and Irregular Migration: Transactional Cooperation in the Making by Angeliki Dimitriadi, Ayhan Kaya, Başak Kale, Tinatin Zurabishvili (March 2018)



Researchers involved:

Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy Angeliki Dimitriadi (WP leader)
Barcelona Centre for International Affairs Elena Sanchez
Caucasus Research Resource Centre Georgia Tinatin Zurabishvili
Bilgi University Ayhan Kaya
Middle East Technical University (METU) Basak Kale