The Turkey-EU refugee deal has been praised by some for ‘protecting Europe against populism’ and ‘saving lives at sea’ while rejected by others for its negative consequences for asylum-seekers. In this talk I’ll consider the deal from the perspective of Turkey-EU accession partnership. The presented research is a fragment of a work-in-progress on politics of belonging in EU-Turkey relations, which addresses the interplay of grievance, (dis)trust, instrumentalization of (non)Europeanness as well as the gap between EU’s declared ambition and how its policies are received and understood in the candidate country. Informed by literatures on solidarities and difference, mostly from IR, IPS and anthropology, I explore the opportunities and limits of the EU enlargement process in delivering on expectations of strengthening democracy, including its environmental and socio-economic dimensions.

Lucia Najšlová is an Assistant Professor at the Department of European Studies, Charles University in Prague. Her research focuses on evolving and conflicting meanings of ‘the West’ and ‘Europe’ in societies undergoing political transition and on the conceptualization of belongings and transnational solidarities in Europe. Lucia is also a founding editor of the and its #humansonthemove blog.