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  • Author: Willem H. Buiter
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: On October 3, 2005, Turkey officially started negotiations for membership in the European Union. Whether Turkey becomes a full member of the EU is likely to be a defining decision, both for the existing EU members and for Turkey. The regional - and geo-political consequences of success or failure of the negotiations, and its cultural and ideological impact, are likely to be even more significant than its economic consequences, although even from an economic perspective the stakes are very high. Turkey's population of over 70 million is larger than that of the ten countries that joined the EU on 1 May 2004 combined. Unlike the EU-25 (and in particular the ten new member states), the Turkish population is young and growing. Its present per capita income is lower than that of any of the EU-25 countries – about at the level of Romania and Macedonia, using Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) estimates of per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, with the right institutions and policies, Turkey could become a true tiger economy. But this is not guaranteed. With the institutions and policies of the second half of the 20th century, it could end up a mangy cat instead of a tiger.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Eastern Europe, Romania, Macedonia