Rethinking the European Union-Turkey customs union agreement in the light of neo-functionalist premises

Sönmez, Esma Yağmur
This thesis examines the European Union-Turkey Customs Union Agreement in the light of Neo-functionalist premises. Though the Customs Union Agreement is the backbone of bilateral relations between the EU and Turkey, it has been lacking to keep pace with the changes under globalization. Consequently, already existing structural asymmetries have become more visible in the light of the recent developments in world trade as well as regional and internal trade dynamics of both parties. Hence, an immediate solution is required to have a well-functioning customs union relation. Departing from this necessity, the research question of this thesis is: “How deficiencies of European Union-Turkey Customs Union Agreement can be corrected according to neo-functionalism?” In this regard, despite general tendency to use the concept of spill-over to regional integration as a theoretical framework, long forgotten concept of spill-around is preferred in this thesis, in order to be used as a glass to evaluate how deficiencies of European Union-Turkey Customs Union Agreement can be corrected. At the end, it will be argued that further trade integration between parties through a deeper and wider version of the current Customs Union Agreement, as it is envisaged by spill-around, could brought a sustainable solution to all problems of the Parties, stemming from this Agreement.