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170 Working Paper

Europe's External Energy Policy and Turkey's Accession Process

2009 – Paul A. Williams and Ali Tekin


This article analyzes the role of Turkey in the European Union's energy security and its implications for the Turkish accession process. The EU is increasingly interested in diversifying its imports of energy, as well as the transit routes for these imported supplies. Extant and future projects to secure energy supplies from Russia, the Caspian and the Middle East indicate quite persuasively that Turkey has become more crucial to the attainment of the EU external energy policy objectives. However, Turkey may have reached the limits of its willingness to cooperate on energy security without more decisive EU reciprocation of Turkey's own EU membership efforts. In the short run, Turkey is not essential to the EU, but in the longer run, as European energy needs become more pressing, the EU may have to give more serious consideration to Turkey's accession.