What are the politics of labour mobility between Turkey and the EU and to what extent do IR theories explain this politics?

Aktas, Merve (2010) What are the politics of labour mobility between Turkey and the EU and to what extent do IR theories explain this politics?

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Abstract:This research was motivated by a long-standing relationship between Turkey and the EU. Due to its huge population and different religion, Turkey is a more controversial candidate than others in the past. Furthermore, labour mobility is a very significant and problematic issue for the Union even if it constitutes one of the fundamental freedoms. This research has tested three IR theories to find out the politics of labour mobility between Turkey and the EU, focusing positions of member states on the issue of Turkey's accession. The chapter on “free movement of workers” has not been opened yet and it is declared as very hard to adopt. The difficulty of the topic comes from the lack of previous work on the issue and its prospective nature. This research can have a positive impact when the negotiations come to the end. The chapter on “Free movement of workers” is one of the last to be opened and is expected to generate a lot of discussion and a long transition period for Turkey. The result of this research - based on the positions of member states, Commission progress reports, Public opinion surveys - indicates that domestic concerns are decisive. The most important concerns are related to the economy, more specifically to the increase of the unemployment among the current EU citizens. At the same time, the Muslim identity of Turkey has also been one of the main causes of the European fear. Testing the theories showed that liberal intergovernmentalism comes closer to an explanation of this situation. Even if member states delegate significant power to the institutions, especially to the Commission, they keep their positions on the basis of their national interests. On the other hand, the interests of member states are mainly, but not totally, determined by perceived economic advantages and disadvantages of conceding the right for labour mobility to Turkish citizens. This argument is not enough to make constructivism unnecessary because of the important role of constructed ideas and identity concerns on the positions of member states. However, it is found that there is no correlation between the commitment to the EU and the support for Turkey‟s accession.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:European Studies MSc (69303)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/60291
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