The EU's enlargement to Turkey and the role of transnational capital
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This thesis analyzes the question of how European transnational capital affects the EU’s enlargement to Turkey. It adopts Neo-Gramscianist critical theory, and it looks at the links between the applicant states’ compliance with the Copenhagen economic criteria, the foreign direct investment inflows by European firms, the reports published by the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT), and the decisions taken by the Commission and the member states. To analyze such links, the thesis benefits from comparative case study and historical interpretation methods. As such, it compares Eastern enlargement to the EU’s enlargement to Turkey and analyzes the ERT’s position on enlargement politics within the historical context. In this way, this thesis, first, reconfirms the privileged role of the European transnational capital on enlargement politics. Then, it shows that the ERT was less interested in Turkey’s EU accession when compared to Central and Eastern European countries. It explains the reason why the ERT was less interested in Turkey’s EU accession with reference to the country’s failures to comply with the necessities of Copenhagen economic criteria and the Customs Union Agreement, and it underlines that the ERT actively supported Turkey’s accession only when the country started to make progress in line with the ERT’s policy recommendations. In this way, the thesis suggests that one of the reasons why Turkey has not been admitted to the EU relates to the apathy of the ERT towards Turkey’s accession.
KeywordsTheories of EU Enlargement
The European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT)
Copenhagen Economic Criteria