Many things have changed in Turkey within the last decade, but also in Brussels as to the political practises. This commentary seeks to answer whether Turkey and the EU can find and maintain a sensible balance between toughness and empathy, between considerations of hard power and soft power. Turkey is obviously an essential, regional player both economically and militarily. Geopolitics may not appear high on the agenda of the EU, but the situation in the Middle-East simply could not and cannot be ignored as a geopolitical challenge, one that might beg for acting in concert with Turkey. On the other side, Europe represents an attraction and example based on a long history and struggle for material wealth, technological and scientific progress as well as for the accomplished degree of democracy and the rule of law. More recently, however, EU soft power suffers a number of setbacks. We disown our most basic values of soft power and will lose impact in promoting a just, democratic order in the world. If the EU and its member states fail to recover from this set-back, we risk to fall back in the hard power game, also with potential and aspiring states.
|June 19, 2016
|Published in Issue
|Year 2016 Volume: 5 Issue: 2
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