Turkish Public Administration's Institutional Capacity in the Membership Process to the European Union

Creative Commons License

Sadioğlu U., Cifci Y., Ezin E., Dinc B.

SIYASAL-JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCES, vol.29, no.2, pp.291-312, 2020 (ESCI) identifier


The development of Turkey's administration capacity necessary for the orientation, monitoring and coordination of the preparatory work for its membership to the European Union has reached an important level. For the foreseeable future, the transformation and the administration level of the relevant body is directly affected by the relations between Turkey and the EU, and, in turn, this affects the relations between them. The body was first established as the General Secretary for EU Affairs under the Prime Ministry. Later, it became an independent body and was named the Ministry for EU Affairs. More recently, it started functioning under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the Directorate for EU Affairs. In case of Turkey becoming a member of the EU, the directorate for EU Affairs will also be in charge of the coordination of the post-membership process. Not only has the Directorate's place within the administrative structure changed after the passage to the presidential system but its internal structure has also changed extensively. Monitoring the institutional development of the directorate in recent history and the relevant organization in other ministries will shed light on the administrative capacity in the membership process. In addition, positive developments in the relations between Turkey and the EU will allow us to reinterpret the administrative position of the Directorate. This study, based on an institutionalist approach, reveals the institutional capacity of the Directorate for EU Affairs and of other relevant public administration by analyzing the relevant legislation and the activity reports of the body. Although the Directorate has accumulated the necessary administrative experience stemming from a long period of candidacy and membership negotiations, its administrative motivation has decreased in the last few years due to the stagnation observed in the relations between the parties.