The EU’s decision to re-energize accession negotiations with Turkey: a moral dilemma between interest and norms
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This thesis examines how the interaction of the EU’s willingness and social ability to violate its normative aspiration to uphold and promote European common values permitted the EU to revitalize negotiations with Turkey on 29 November 2016 despite the increasing limitation of the freedom of the Turkish media. It aims to contribute to the understanding of the conditions under which either norms or interests prevail in EU foreign policy. It is based on the assumption that the EU was caught up in a conflict between promoting and protecting its values and securing Turkish support to address the refugee crisis resulting from the war in Syria. The political psychology perspective as proposed by Shannon served as the analytical lens to examine how the EU was able to free itself from this conflict. This paper consequently argues that the EU was both willing and socially able to violate their aspiration to promote and protect its values due to the situational context and the interpretation of its aspiration underlying the decision. The EU was therefore capable to re-energize membership negotiations with Turkey. This paper furthermore highlights that there nevertheless existed differences in the EU’s willingness to revive negotiations due to differences in contextualizing the decision situationally and in interpreting the intention to promote and protect their common values.