Turkey is becoming increasingly active in the EU neighborhood and its development assistance in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and Southern Mediterranean has grown rapidly. Visegrad as a group can benefit tremendously from learning more about potential for cooperation between Turkey, the V4 and the EU. This project aimed to propose prospective fields of V4-Turkey cooperation as well as to suggest strategies for greater coordination.
This project came at a very important moment, when Turkey and EU were having intense discussions on collaboration in common neighborhoods, which was soon overshadowed by the migration and refugee crisis. The project aimed to produce policy-relevant research and to facilitate debate of policy analysts and policy practitioners on opportunities and limits of coordination between Turkey and V4 foreign and development assistance policies in common neighborhoods.
The project was launched with a kick-off workshop in September 2015 where V4 researchers fine-tuned the methodology of data collection. The four researchers, Lucia Najšlova (project leader, Charles University, Prague), Adam Balcer (College of Eastern Studies, Wardsaw) and Zsuzsanna Végh (CEU CENS, Budapest) explored the individual V4 countries' foreign and development assistance policies as well as the joint V4 dimension of policy activities in the three EU neighborhoods relevant for collaboration with Turkey: the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Southern Mediterranean. They assessed Turkey’s priorities in the given neighborhoods and explored potential for synergies. The research took into account also the ongoing EU-Turkey talks on coordination of development assistance and foreign policy strategies as well as the unfolding refugee crisis. The main output – a policy paper – was produced jointly by all 4 researchers and was discussed at a conference with policy practitioners in April 2016 in Prague.
The project was led by the Charles University in Prague, and was implemented in cooperation with the Research Center of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association in Bratislava and the College of Eastern Studies in Warsaw. It was supported by the International Visegrad Fund.