Friends or Foes, Tensions or Ties? The EU’s Relations with Turkey, Russia and the US

In spite of its internal crisis, the European Union will have to (re)define its relations with its powerful neighbours Turkey and Russia and come to terms with the new political situation across the Atlantic. Whereas (still) EU accession candidate Turkey keeps slipping away into illiberalism and lawlessness, Russia doesn’t back down on its (often aggressive) ambitions in the eastern neighbourhood and both countries keep meddling in the EU’s internal affairs (pressure on Turkish EU citizens in the EU on the one hand; financing of populist parties and cyber attacks on the other), the EU depends on Turkey in the ‘refugee deal’ and looks helpless in the face of Russian hostilities. In the meantime, transatlantic relations have come under strain in view of a US President whose next step in foreign policy is more unpredictable than the drop of a lottery ball. The European Union is challenged to play a more affirmative role in the neighbourhood and on the global stage, but can an EU which is struggling with internal tensions and a general crisis of confidence really do this? What will the future EU relations with Russia, Turkey and the US look like? For this dossier the European Office of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung asked European, Russian, Turkish and American authors to assess the situation from their point of view.


Turkey has been waiting for its accession to the EU for now 30 years. A look into past, present and future of EU-Turkey relations explores the push and pull dynamics of the country's rocky path to EU membership


President Erdogan announced a reexamination of all political and administrative ties with the European Union after last month's referendum. A critical assessment of what is stake

Other contributions to follow soon...



...EU-Russia relations

  • Tania Marocchi, Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre (EPC)
  • Victor Mizin, Deputy Director of the Institute for Strategic Assessments, Moscow
  • Hannah Thoburn, Research Fellow at the Hudson Institute  


...EU-US Relations

  • Bart Kerremans, Professor of International Relations and American Government at LINES, KU Leuven
  • Steve Szabo, Executive Director of the Transatlantic Academy (TA)
  • Soli Özel, Professor of International Relations at Kadir Has University in Istanbul


...EU-Turkey Relations

Ludwig Schulz, M. A., Member of the Board of MEIA Research
Center for Applied Policy Research at LMU Munich, German Orient Institute Berlin (ext.)