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Public lecture „On the edge of EUrope – what lessons does Turkey provide for Brexit Britain?“

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The event is part of the VIADUCT Guest Lectures series
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IIRPS VU invites you to a public lecture by dr. Julie Smith “One the edge of EUrope – what lessons does Turkey provide for Brexit Britain?”, which will be held on May 16th, 11:30 a.m. in room 402 at IIRPS VU. VIADUCT organises 12 Guest Lectures hosted at 12 different partner institutions on important and topical themes within nexus EU-Turkey relations. Guest Lectures offer deep insights into the cross-sectorial issues migration and identity (‘people’), security and politics (‘power’), energy and economics (‘resources’) as well as EU’s Future. More over they inform about current political and academic controversies in the field of EU-Turkey relations. For more information on VIADUCT, please, click here.

The Viaduct Network seeks to bring together scholars from across the EU and Turkey to enhance our shared understandings of European integration. Typically, we assume that Turkey and indeed any would-be Member State should learn from the EU and adopt to its norms and values. But as the UK considers its future outside the European Union, perhaps there are some reverse lessons to be learned. Turkey has been associated with the European project since the 1960s and is in a Customs Union with the EU, but its prospects of membership remain remote. Before the UK’s historic 2016 decision to leave the EU, the government claimed there were three possible alternatives to membership: the Norwegian model; the Turkish model; and the Canadian, shorthand for membership of the European Economic Area, membership of a Customs Union, or agreement of a Free Trade Area, respectively. At the time, few paid much attention to these alternatives. As the UK’s planned departure day came and went, the Norwegian and Turkish models crept up the agenda. Yet, whereas there is much talk of the former, with Norway and its Prime Minister frequently cited by opponents and proponents of the EEA, it is rare for advocates of a Customs Union to refer to Turkey. Why? Is the Turkish experience so bad no-one really wishes to replicate it? At present, a customs union is the most likely position that the main British parties will converge on, so surely any dangers and pitfalls need to be explored. Does the Turkish model have any lessons for the UK, as it stands on the brink on its crucial decision?’

Dr Julie Smith (Baroness Smith of Newnham) is Director of the European Centre in the Department of Politics and International Studies, Cambridge University, and a Fellow in Politics and Graduate Tutor at Robinson College, Cambridge.