The impact and thus the significance of the EU as a sui generis international organization is increasing in the new international power configuration that has emerged at the beginning of the 21st century. Moreover, the enlarged EU seems to be deepening its integration towards a federal Europe while closing its borders. Hence, one of the determinants of the Turkish foreign policy is going through a process of metamorphosis and taking up new characteristics. On the other hand, with its regional leadership claims and initiatives emphasizing Turkey's bridge position between Europe and Asia, the Turkish foreign policy too seems to be going through a process of transformation. In a context in which the traditional distinctions between domestic and international politics are blurred, power blocs and polarized alliances have expired, and the impact of multi-dimensional interdependencies is increasingly felt, both of these transformations calls for an understanding and evaluation from a social science perspective.
The European Union and International Relations Institute of Başkent University is established to produce, share and disseminate analysis from social science perspective about (1) the changing context and nature of international relations in an increasingly globalized world, (2) the legal, political, economic, historical, and cultural aspects of the European integration; and (3) the Turkish foreign policy in general and Turkey-EU relations in particular.
The Institute also aims to train active, dynamic and visionary experts needed to facilitate the formulation of a foreign policy that would accord to the changes and transformations in the international arena and that would further Turkey's integration and interests in the process of EU membership.
Since its establishment the Institute offers two Master of Arts degree programs in European Studies, one of which exclusively focuses on the legal aspects of the European integration. In addition to these, the Institute started admitting students to a new Master of Arts degree programme in International Relations in Spring 2012.