On December 5th, GRF and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) organized the “Club of Three Plenary Meeting on Turkey and its Neighbours” at the Quai D’Orsay, Paris with the support of Robert Bosch Stiftung. The meeting was the 20th plenary meeting of the ISD’s “Club of Three” initiative, which serves as a forum for debate and dialogue between leaders from the UK, France and Germany on the major geo-strategic, economic and social issues. On the occasion of the Club of Three’s special session on Turkey and its neighbours, GRF members convened with men and women of influence in the fields of politics, media, arts and business from the UK, France and Germany to reflect on and discuss current issues of common concern.
The opening speeches of the meeting were delivered by ISD Trustee Lord Simon of Highbury and GRF Vice-Chairman and President Memduh Karakullukçu. Their remarks were followed by the first session on “Europe, Turkey and its Neighbours: Collaborating in a New Security Environment”, during which, the discussants elaborated on several issues including Turkey and Europe’s cooperation to stem the tide of foreign fighters, domestic radicalization and terrorism; Turkey’s stance in the region and how it affects its relations with the West; and the form of international intervention required for tackling the Syria and IS crises.
During the second session entitled “Investment and Growth: Technology, Energy and Markets”, the speakers discussed issues relating to energy security, the investment climate, and regional growth as well as transformation.
In the final session on “Managing the Pressures of Migration”, the discussions revolved around the implications of demographics for Turkey and Europe, with a special focus on immigration and integration dynamics, and the refugee problem.
The meeting was concluded with a dinner reception hosted by the British Embassy, where the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Laurent Fabius made a keynote address along with the Ambassador of the UK to France, Peter Ricketts, and the Ambassador of Turkey to the EU, Selim Yenel.