The EU as a democracy promoter: the Turkish case

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Democracy has been acknowledged as a core value or principle the EU stands for, it is understandable that the Union seeks to promote it not only within its boundaries, but also abroad. In fact, all the relationships the EU upholds with third countries are marked by a certain degree of promotion of democratic values.  Yet, academics do not agree on the the impact of democracy promotion measures by the European Union. It has been widely accepted that the leverage power of the organisation depends on the type of relationship and on the degree of convergence, even though the evaluation on the success of these policies varies among theorists. The present work aims to evaluate the European Union’s influence on a very special, and probably deviant, case: Turkey. As an external actor whose aim is to promote democracy abroad, with a special emphasis on candidate countries like Turkey, the European Union is frequently criticised for not achieving the desired results.  Therefore, basing the analysis on EU documents and other organisations that assess the country, this paper wants to find out what was the evolution of certain key areas of the Turkish democracy and its connection with the influence of this specific external actor.

Keywords:  European Union, Turkey, democracy

André Pereira Matos (

Universidade Portucalense – Instituto Jurídico Portucalense