Academic journal article Journal of Economic Cooperation & Development

Economic Implications of Turkish Migration in Europe: Lessons Learned from Polish EU Accession

Academic journal article Journal of Economic Cooperation & Development

Economic Implications of Turkish Migration in Europe: Lessons Learned from Polish EU Accession

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Turkey's efforts to integrate into the European structures dates back to 1963, when the country gained associate membership of European Economic Community (EEC) and submitted its application for the EU membership four years later, however without managing to achieve full membership. Turkey experienced partial success when it entered in the European customs union in 1995. Four years later it applied formally for the EU membership and the negotiation rounds began in 2005. Up to today, Turkey closed only 1 of the 35 chapters of the "Acquis communautaire" (the body of European Union law) and negotiations are still ongoing.

While there are several factors that hinder quick progress of accession rounds, as it will be discussed later on, this paper will discuss one of the economic implications of possible Turkish EU accession, namely Turkish migration to the EU. The hypothetical Turkish EU accession raised many questions regarding its advantages and disadvantages in both public and academic debate. Proponents of the EU widening process argue that the inclusion of Turkey would significantly boost energy security, especially with regard to the energy dependence of the EU on Russian sources. For instance, Triantaphyllou and Fotiou (2010) show that Turkey's energy strategy in the 2010s might oscillate between using "pipeline diplomacy" as a means to achieve its energy independence and to enhance its security, or using it as a leverage to increase its power as a regional hegemony. Bagdonas (2012) suggests Turkey might be attractive to the EU New Member States (NMS), such as the Baltic countries or Poland due to its geopolitical role as a transit hub for energy supplies to Europe, and its potential to become a great power, engaging in regional competition with Russia.

Another positive impact of Turkish EU accession might be fueling the European moribund labor market. For example, Krieger and Maître (2006) use the study based on Eurobarometer data from 2002 and point out that migration from Turkey (mostly students and better-educated people in Turkey have a propensity to migrate) may open up important opportunities: e.g. to reduce the gap in labor supply in Europe due to ageing as well as to contribute to an improved financial sustainability of the social security systems of the EU countries. Tarifa and Adams (2007) analyze the situation after the opening of EU official accession talks with Turkey in 2005 and come to the conclusion that Turkey might help Europe in its struggle to define itself as it expands and confronts a series of demographic, social, economic, and bureaucratic challenges. Moreover, Uslu and Polat (2012), analyze the impact of foreign trade on labor market by using the random coefficient panel data analysis and the quarterly data of 17 sectors in manufacturing industry of Turkey between 1994 and 2010 showing that production had positive impact on labor and negative impact on wages, while imports and exports have a significant and positive impact on labor.

Additionally, Turkish EU accession might increase the economic competitiveness of the EU. With regard to that Mihçi and Wigley (2009) examined the effects of the creation of Customs Union between Turkey and the EU in 1996 by performing a direct and indirect tests of the technology-led growth induced by the Custom Union via estimating total factor productivity and labor productivity equations for Turkish manufacturing industry sectors using the data set of 12 manufacturing industry sub-sectors for the period 1994-2001 and arriving at the conclusions that import volume had a positive and significant effect on output per labour and volume of imports from EU countries which implied that the Customs Union had a positive effect on both economies. Furthermore, Ozturk and Acaravci (2011) empirically prove the causal relationship between economic growth, export and FDI in Turkey (the proxy of the trade with the EU) using the ARDL bounds testing approach and the error-correction based Granger causality test examining the both long-run and short-run causality issues between the variables by using quarterly data from 1994 to 2010. …

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