“Europe needs Turkey’s dynamism.”

Conference of the Fellowship Program Carl Friedrich Goerdeler-Kolleg for Good Governance in Istanbul

14/02/2013 - 17/02/2013 | 10:00 - 18:00 | Istanbul | Invitation only

Category: Turkey, European Union

Turkey’s EU membership would not only be an advantage for Turkey – Brussels, too, would gain, emphasized Turkey’s Minister for European Union Affairs Egemen Bağış at the alumni and interim seminar of the Goerdeler-Kolleg in Istanbul. In addition to EU accession, Turkish foreign policy, administration reform, and development plans for Istanbul’s infrastructure were discussed.

Foto: Svetlana Kuznetsova

Turkey’s Europe Minister Egemen Bağış talking with fellows

EU accession negotiations with Turkey are stalled. But the country has a lot to offer the EU, Egemen Bağış, Minister for European Union Affairs and Chief Negotiator of the Republic of Turkey, stated. “In addition to its market and economic growth, Turkey can play a role as mediator between the cultures.“ The EU needs Turkey’s dynamism: “Without Turkey, Europe is dull and globally not competitive.” Bağış talked with Günter Verheugen, director of the Carl Friedrich Goerdeler-Kolleg and former Vice president of the European Commission, and the 50 participants of the alumni and interim seminar in Istanbul.

Global Actor

The Turkish foreign policy after the Arab spring was the focus of the discussion with Hüseyin Bağcı, Professor for International Relations at the Middle East Technical University Ankara, and Michael Thumann, correspondent for Middle East of the weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT. Bağcı emphasized that Turkey is already a global actor. Thumann added that the country faces big challenges especially in the education and legal system.

The country can boast successful reforms to its administration system, which were pushed by pressure from Brussels, Korel Göymen, Professor for political science and public administration at Sabancı University Istanbul, said. Starting EU accession negotiations had been crucial for these reforms.

Rapid Changes

The megacity Istanbul faces special infrastructural challenges. This became clear when the Goerdeler-Kolleg Fellows talked to Serkan Korkmaz Arslan from the Istanbul development agency. It is almost impossible for urban planners to keep pace with the rapid changes in the city. But Istanbul, which has transformed into a global metropolis in recent years, also offers interesting possibilities for development.

The fellowship program Carl Friedrich Goerdeler-Kolleg for Good Governance is a program of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and is conducted in cooperation with the DGAP. It offers conferences and further education for young executives from the public sector (public administration, public companies, non-profit organizations, etc.) from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. Further information: www.goerdeler-kolleg.de.

Applications for the next program year (September 2013-August 2014) are being accepted until February 28, 2013.

Contact: Marie-Lena May, Program Officer, Robert Bosch Stiftung Center for Central and Eastern Europe

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