Both academic and public debates on relations between the European Union and Turkey often focus on cooperation in economic, energy, and migration policies. But what about civil society relations?

In the workshop "Prospects for Civil Society in EU-Turkey Relations" , Mercator Alumni therefore brought the civil society dimension into the focus of an exchange. A group of twenty Mercator Alumni tuned in from Turkey, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and other countries to discuss online: Where should current priorities of Turkish civil society lie with regard to EU-Turkish relations? What structural problems pose particular challenges for Turkish civil society at the moment? How could existing and new EU (funding) instruments help to address these challenges?

In digital small groups, the alumni discussed these questions and shared their own experiences, focusing on the dimension of human rights, economic and women's rights. In the joint final round, the small group results were then presented to the plenary. Through the joint exchange, not only new thoughts and ideas were shared, but also new questions arose: How can civil society support each other transnationally and make commitment and solidarity visible? How can transnational cooperation of civil society take place at eye level? What other partnerships should civil society actors strive for?

All in all, it was an exciting kick-off event with interesting inputs that will be continued in the second part of the workshop series with an onsite exchange with further experts!