External Differentiation - EU agencies & Turkey

There are currently 48 EU agencies, located in over 22 EU Member States. More than ever, EU agencies stand for solutions to European problems and a promoter for European integration. A mostly neglected feature of EU agencies is the growing involvement of third countries in EU agencies as a form of external differentiated European integration. Currently, Turkey fully participates in only 2 out of 34 powerful decentralised regulatory EU agencies: the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). Since no uniform rule exists concerning the systematic involvement of third countries in EU agencies this project addresses the following question: Whether, in which policy areas and under what conditions could Turkey´s (enhanced) involvement in EU agencies be used as one of EU membership substitute mechanisms as a form of external differentiation? Departing from the current Turkish experiences (EEA and EMCDDA) this project will assess Swiss (EFTA) and Norwegian (EEA) long-standing experiences with EU agencies, and the UK´s evolving new forms of cooperation, covering policy areas of particular importance to EU-Turkey relations (f.ex. migration, security and energy). This project will explore the dynamic and flexible nature of cooperation through EU agencies as a potential valuable asset for Turkey and the EU given the often very long and uncertain road to EU membership - amid prolonged enlargement fatigue across the EU Member States.