The EU and Turkey face mounting challenges both in relation to one another and internationally. The EU is confronted with an economic crisis which is likely to make differentiation a growing phenomenon. Turkey faces polarisation between different political forces, the state and civil society. The neighbourhood is unravelling to the east and south and a power shift is under way at global level. This questions the regional roles of Turkey and the EU.
Accordingly, FEUTURE – a consortium of 13 experienced universities and think tanks from the EU, Turkey and the neighbourhood – aims to: (1) map the dynamics of EU-Turkey relations as to underlying narratives and thematic drivers; (2) substantiate most likely future scenario(s) and assess its implications; (3) draw policy recommendations. FEUTURE provides excellence and pursues an ambitious, inspiring and innovative programme in a three-phased structure of elaboration, exploration and extrapolation. It applies an inter-temporal, interdisciplinary and international approach by analysing drivers within six thematic dimensions (politics, security, economics, energy, migration, identity) and across four levels of analysis (EU, Turkey, neighbourhood, global). Phases 1 and 2 culminate in an extrapolation phase in which FEUTURE integrates new knowledge and tests the implications of 3 ideal-type future scenarios for EU-Turkey relations: conflict, cooperation and convergence. We engage in a trans-disciplinary exchange within an elite survey and with the knowledge-user community from the four levels of analysis exploiting the full range of virtual and social media as well as traditional means. FEUTURE’s work plan guarantees coherence of its research approach by streamlining work in one conceptual, one synthesis, two organisational and six thematic work packages. Joint WP meetings and three FEUTURE conferences assure intensive horizontal exchange. FEUTURE will achieve academic, practical and structural impact beyond the project.