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Devrim Şahin and Achiri Emmanuel Attended an International Conference in Slovakia
Published Date: Thursday, 23 June 2022
Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Business and Economics Faculty, Political Science and International Relations Department Research Assistants Devrim Şahin and Achiri Emmanuel attended a conference titled “Back to the Margins?" which was held in Bratislava, Slovakia between 22 and 24 June 2022. Şahin and Emmanuel, who made presentations in the panel “Borders and Neighborhoods of the European Union (EU)" and “Migration and Politics in Central Europe and Eastern Europe", discussed the relations of the EU with its environment during their presentatio. Şahin and Emmanuel pointed out the importance of the EU adopting itself as a global role as a soft power, normative power, transformative power or model for the solution of problems, and the goal of spreading peace and prosperity within itself along with the enlargement process.
“Regional Consensus and Cooperation is a Must"
Touching upon the challenges such as the global economic crisis, transnational terrorism, global democratic regression and mass refugee influx that emerged with the 2000s, Şahin and Emmanuel stated that the ruling role in Moscow's ex-Soviet geography, which is the basis of Russia's Ukraine and Georgia wars, and the claim of global energy hegemony adds salt and pepper to the existing problems. In order for the EU to break the Russian energy monopoly, which Moscow uses as a political pressure tool, and to diversify its energy sources, in accordance with the “EU 2030 Climate Goals", the transition to renewable energy instead of fossil fuels and in this context, the undersea power transmission line project, which will connect the Middle East-Africa- Continental electricity networks are of utmost importance. Adding that regional consensus and cooperation are essential for the healthy realization of the EU's goals, Şahin and Emmanuel emphasized that Ankara will strengthen its cooperation with Moscow if Turkey, which has the longest coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, is excluded from energy projects. Şahin and Emmanuel claimed that the rapprochement between Russia and Turkey, whose presence is now well felt in the Eastern Mediterranean, with their bases in Syria, would mean that the rivalry and polarization between Moscow and the West in Eurasia would be transferred to the Eastern Mediterranean.
“Need for Global Solutions"
Drawing attention to the global dimensions of today's problems, Şahin and Emmanuel stated that global solutions are needed and the global role that the EU can play has gained vital importance; However, they also explained that the same problems serve to strengthen the sovereign and nationalist skepticism towards the process of enlargement in the union. Stating that Brussels has adopted a tactical strategy based on the centre-periphery approach, which sees Turkey as a buffer state that will serve to isolate the EU from chaotic regions, Şahin and Emmanuel cited the “2016 Turkey-EU Refugee Agreement" as an example. Şahin and Emmanuel added that this agreement made it impossible for the EU to force Turkey's democratic transformation by applying the conditionality principles. On the contrary, they stated that Ankara is moving away from the democratic restoration process by using the agreement as a tool of pressure and that its relations with Brussels are deadlocked. Pointing out that all the negative developments have shown that the EU should abandon tactical strategies immediately, Şahin and Emmanuel concluded their speech by calling for Brussels to adopt a visionbased strategy that would embrace Turkey's democratic social forces