External differentiated integration between the European Union and Turkey: a 'Ukraine Model for the Customs Union upgrade?

Altay S.

TURKISH STUDIES, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14683849.2021.1944809
  • Title of Journal : TURKISH STUDIES
  • Keywords: Differentiated integration, European integration, Turkey-EU relations, customs union, Ukraine model, TRADE, EU, PARTNERSHIP


The forthcoming Customs Union (CU) upgrade negotiations have the potential to stabilize and deepen the ties between the European Union (EU) and Turkey and bring them to a stronger form of external differentiated integration. This article examines the viability of an EU-Turkey Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), similar to that between Ukraine and the EU, as an alternative to the CU. The paper contends that a DCFTA would benefit both the EU and Turkey while it would de facto shift the contractual relations from accession conditionality to market access conditionality with potential political repercussions.