Category Archives: Turkey

STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK
ADOPTION OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS

Turkey: the Commission recommends opening accession negotiations

Turkey: the Commission recommends opening accession negotiations

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Turkey: the Commission recommends opening accession negotiations

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > Turkey

Turkey: the Commission recommends opening accession negotiations

In its Communication of October 2004 the European Commission finds that Turkey sufficiently fulfils the Copenhagen political criteria and recommends opening accession negotiations with Turkey. It does however set certain conditions for opening negotiations. It suggests a strategy based on three pillars.
In the Commission’s view the final objective, accession, is clear but it cannot be guaranteed in advance.

Document or Iniciative

Communication of 6 October 2004 from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: Recommendation of the European Commission on Turkey’s progress towards accession [COM(2004) 656 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Summary

The Commission considers that Turkey sufficiently fulfils the Copenhagen political criteria and suggests opening accession negotiations subject to certain conditions. It also proposes – for the first time – establishing a tight framework for the negotiations using a three-pillar strategy.

The Commission stresses that accession cannot take place before 2014, and that it must be thoroughly prepared to allow for smooth integration and to avoid endangering the achievements of over fifty years of European integration.

Opening negotiations subject to conditions

In the light of the changes that have taken place in Turkey in recent years, the Commission considers that it sufficiently fulfils the Copenhagen political criteria. It has made substantial progress with political reform, in particular through the far-reaching constitutional and legislative changes adopted in recent years in line with the priorities set out in the Accession Partnership. However, the Law on Associations, the new Penal Code and the Law on Intermediate Courts of Appeal have not yet entered into force. Moreover, the Code on Criminal Procedure, the legislation establishing the judicial police and the law on execution of punishments have yet to be adopted.

Turkey is making serious efforts to ensure proper implementation of these reforms. Nevertheless, legislation and implementation measures need to be further consolidated and broadened. This applies specifically to the zero tolerance policy in the fight against torture and ill-treatment and the implementation of provisions relating to freedom of expression, freedom of religion, women’s rights, International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards including trade union rights, and minority rights.

In view of the overall progress already achieved with reforms, and provided that Turkey brings into force the outstanding legislation mentioned above, the Commission recommends that accession negotiations be opened. It proposes that when opened, they should be organised around three pillars.

Three-pillar negotiations

The first pillar concerns cooperation to reinforce and support the reform process in Turkey, in particular in relation to the continued fulfilment of the Copenhagen political criteria. The EU will therefore monitor the progress of the political reforms closely. This will be done on the basis of a revised Accession Partnership setting out priorities for the reform process. Starting at the end of 2005 there will be an annual general review of the progress of political reforms. To this end, the Commission will present a first report to the European Council in December 2005.

The Commission may also recommend suspending the negotiations if there is a serious and persistent breach of the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms or the rule of law on which the Union is founded. If such a recommendation is made, the Council may, by a qualified majority, decide to suspend negotiations.

The second pillar concerns the specific way in which accession negotiations with Turkey are to be approached. They will be held in the framework of an Intergovernmental Conference consisting of all Member States of the EU. For each chapter of the negotiations, the Council must lay down benchmarks for the provisional closure of negotiations, including a satisfactory track record on implementation of the acquis. Existing legal obligations relating to alignment with the acquis must be fulfilled before negotiations on the chapters concerned are closed. Long transition periods may be necessary.

In some spheres, such as structural policies and agriculture, specific arrangements may be needed. The Commission is considering permanent safeguards concerning the free movement of workers. Turkey’s accession is also likely to have an important financial and institutional impact. The EU will therefore need to define its financial perspective for the period from 2014 before negotiations can be concluded.

The third pillar entails enhanced political and cultural dialogue between the people of the EU Member States and Turkey. This includes a dialogue on cultural differences, religion, migration issues and concerns about minority rights and terrorism. Civil society should play the most important role in this dialogue, which the EU will facilitate.

Assessment of issues raised by Turkey’s possible accession

As well as the Regular Report on Turkey and its recommendation, the Commission has also presented a detailed impact study on issues raised by Turkey’s possible accession to the European Union. The study concludes that Turkey’s accession would be a challenge for both the EU and Turkey. If well managed, it could offer important opportunities for both. The necessary preparations for accession would last well into the next decade. The EU will evolve over this period, and Turkey should change even more radically. The Community acquis, i.e. the whole body of EU policies and legislation, will develop further and respond to the needs of an EU of 27 or more. Its development may also anticipate the challenges and opportunities of Turkey’s accession.

Background

Relations between the EU and Turkey go back a long way. In 1963 Turkey and the European Economic Community entered into an Association Agreement which referred to the possibility of membership. In 1995, a customs union was formed and, in Helsinki in December 1999, the European Council decided to grant Turkey the official status of an accession candidate. It considered at that point that the country had the basic features of a democratic system but displayed serious shortcomings in terms of human rights and the protection of minorities.

Against this background, in December 2002 the Copenhagen European Council concluded that the European Council of December 2004 should decide on the basis of a report and a recommendation from the Commission whether Turkey fulfilled the Copenhagen political criteria and, accordingly, whether the EU would open accession negotiations with Turkey.

Related Acts

EEC-Turkey Association Agreement (1963), Official Journal No 217 of 29.12.1964.

Conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 16 and 17 December 2004

The European Council decided that the European Union would open accession negotiations with Turkey on 3 October 2005. The negotiations will be based on the three pillars proposed by the Commission in its recommendation of October 2004.

COMMISSION ASSESSMENT

Commission report COM(98)711 final
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission report COM(1999)513 final
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission report COM(2000)713 final
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(2001)700 final – SEC(2001) 1756
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(2002)700 final – SEC(2002) 1412
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(2003)676 final – SEC(2003) 1212
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(2004)656 final – SEC(2004) 1201
Not published in the Official Journal

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

Turkey – Regional policy

Turkey – Regional policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Turkey – Regional policy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > Turkey

Turkey – Regional policy

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

References

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1201 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The 2011 Report highlights progress concerning regional policy, but also some failures concerning the financial management and financial control of pre-accession funds. The administrative capacities still need to be strengthened.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

In the field of regional policy, the acquis essentially comprises framework regulations and implementing regulations which do not require transposition into national law. They define the rules applicable to the development, approval and implementation of the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund, which each reflect the territorial organisation of the country. These programmes are negotiated and agreed with the Commission, but their implementation is the responsibility of the Member States. When choosing and implementing projects, Member States must comply with Community legislation in general, for example in the areas of public procurement, competition and the environment. They must have a suitable institutional framework and administrative capacities to ensure that the programming, implementation, monitoring and assessment of projects are carried out in a rational and cost-effective manner with regards to management and financial control.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Some progress was made in the field of regional policy and co-ordination of structural instruments. There are delays in establishing the bodies to take over the financial management and control responsibilities of pre-accession funds in this policy area. Although the institutional administrative capacity has been improved, there is a need for further strengthening of this capacity and improved coordination between all relevant institutions in order to accelerate implementation.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The 2010 Report highlighted the progress made to finalise the legislative and institutional framework required for using the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). In addition, the structures for establishing regional policy needed to be designed with accession in mind, particularly those relating to the structural funds and to strengthening local and regional institutions.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2007) 663 final – SEC(2007) 1436 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2006) 649 final – SEC(2006) 1390 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2005) 561 final – SEC(2005) 1426 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2004) 656 final – SEC(2004) 1201 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2003) 676 final – SEC(2003) 1212 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final – SEC(2002) 1412 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final – SEC(2001) 1756 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2000) 713 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(1999) 513 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(1998) 711 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Turkey – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

Turkey – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Turkey – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > Turkey

Turkey – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

References

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1201 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The 2011 Report highlights progress made by Turkey in terms of alignment. However, although Turkey has made an effort to maintain a dialogue on common foreign and security policy matters, its relations with Israel have deteriorated somewhat.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

In this field the Community acquis mainly comprises directly binding legislation which does not require transposition into national law. EU legislation results from the Union’s multi-lateral and bi-lateral agreements on matters of trade policy as well as from a certain number of autonomous preferential trade measures. In the fields of development and humanitarian aid, Member States must comply with the relevant EU legislation and international commitments and equip themselves with the capacities required to participate in EU policies in these sectors. Candidate countries are invited to progressively align their policies with regard to third countries, and their positions within international organisations, with the policies and positions adopted by the Union and its Member States.

The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) are based on legal acts, legally binding international agreements in particular, and on policy documents. The acquis comprises declarations, actions and policy agreements. Member States must be in a position to conduct political dialogue under the framework of the CFSP, to align with the EU’s declarations, to take part in EU action and to apply the appropriate sanctions and restrictive measures. Candidate countries are invited to progressively align with the EU’s declarations and to apply sanctions and restrictive measures if required.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Turkey has achieved a high level of alignment in the area of external relations, owing to the Customs Union. Some discrepancies still remain in areas such as the general system of preferences in terms of its geographical coverage.

Turkey’s alignment with the EU’s common foreign and security policyhas continued; overall Turkish alignment with CFSP declarations fell during the reporting period and Turkey did not align with EU restrictive measures on Iran, Libya or Syria. Turkey has sought dialogue and consultation with the EU on various foreign policy issues. Turkey made efforts to normalise relations with its neighbouring countries, such as Iraq, including the Kurdish regional government. No progress was made in the normalisation of ties with Armenia. Relations with Israel further deteriorated since the Gaza Flotilla incident in 2010. After the publication of the independent UN report, Turkey downgraded relations with Israel and suspended military agreements with Israel.

Turkey is continuing to contribute to CSDP and is seeking greater involvement in CSDP activities. The issue of EU-NATO cooperation, which would involve all EU Member States beyond the “Berlin plus arrangements”, remains to be resolved. Turkey has not aligned itself with the EU position on membership of the Wassenaar Arrangement.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The 2010 Report presented Turkey’s efforts to normalise its relations with its neighbours, particularly Greece, Armenia, Iraq (including the Kurdish government) and Syria. At the same time, its relations with Israel had deteriorated. In addition, the country had not aligned with the European position regarding the export controls for conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies. Finally, progress needed to be made in order to conclude the country’s alignment with the acquis on external relations and commercial matters, in particular.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2007) 663 final – SEC(2007) 1436 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2006) 649 final – SEC(2006) 1390 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2005) 561 final – SEC(2005) 1426 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2004) 656 final – SEC(2004) 1201 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2003) 676 final – SEC(2003) 1212 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final – SEC(2002) 1412 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final – SEC(2001) 1756 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2000) 713 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(1999) 513 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(1998) 711 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Turkey

Turkey

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Turkey

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > Turkey

Turkey

STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK

  • Partnership for the accession of Turkey
  • Turkey: the Commission recommends opening accession negotiations
  • Participation of Cyprus, Malta and Turkey in Community programmes
  • Turkey’s pre-accession strategy

ADOPTION OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS

  • Turkey – Economic and Monetary Policy
  • Turkey – Employment and social policy
  • Turkey – Agriculture, fisheries and food safety
  • Turkey – Enterprises
  • Turkey – Internal market
  • Turkey– Taxation
  • Turkey – Competition
  • Turkey – Transport
  • Turkey – Energy
  • Turkey – Environment
  • Turkey – Health and consumers
  • Turkey – Education and culture
  • Turkey – Information society and media
  • Turkey – Research and new technologies
  • Turkey – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy
  • Turkey – Regional policy
  • Turkey – Justice and security

Participation of Cyprus, Malta and Turkey in Community programmes

Participation of Cyprus, Malta and Turkey in Community programmes

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Participation of Cyprus, Malta and Turkey in Community programmes

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > Turkey

Participation of Cyprus, Malta and Turkey in Community programmes

1) Objective

To establish a reference framework with a view to facilitating, simplifying and accelerating the procedures for the participation of Cyprus, Malta and Turkey in Community programmes.

2) Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2002/39/EC of 17 December 2001 concerning the conclusion of a Framework Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Malta on the general principles for the participation of the Republic of Malta in Community programmes
[Official Journal L 17 of 19.01.2002].

Council Decision 2002/78/EC of 17 December 2001 concerning the conclusion of a Framework Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Cyprus on the general principles for the participation of the Republic of Cyprus in Community programmes
[Official Journal L 34 of 05.02.2002].

Council Decision 2002/179/EC of 17 December 2001 concerning the conclusion of a Framework Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Turkey on the general principles for the participation of the Republic of Turkey in Community programmes
[Official Journal L 61 of 02.03.2002].

3) Summary

The Luxembourg European Council (December 1997) highlighted participation in Community programmes as a way of intensifying the pre-accession strategy for the candidate countries. Although Turkey was not officially a candidate country at this time, a European strategy providing it with the same opportunities was established.

As regards the ten candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe, namely Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, participation in Community programmes is already provided for in their respective Europe Agreements. These stipulate that the conditions for participation are determined by specific decisions of the respective Association Councils.

For Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, agreements are necessary with regard to determining the conditions for participation in the programmes. The current decisions and framework agreements follow this objective.

Under these acts, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey can also participate in all the Community programmes open to the candidate countries from Central and Eastern Europe.

The three countries will contribute to the section of the European Union’s general budget which corresponds to the programmes in which they participate.

Their participation in the programmes will be subject to the same conditions, rules and procedures as those applied to the participants from Member States. Representatives of the three countries will be able to act as observers at the meetings of the committees for the programmes to which they are making a financial contribution.

The terms and conditions for the participation of Cyprus, Malta and Turkey in each Community programme, in particular their financial contribution, are determined by means of an agreement between the Commission and each country.

The framework agreements have an unspecified duration. No later than three years after the dates of entry into force, and every three years after that, the Commission will examine their implementation and report to the Council.

Act Date
of entry into force
Deadline for transposition in the Member States
Decision 2002/39/EC 19.12.2001 (of the agreement)
Decision 2002/78/EC The agreement enters into force on the day on which the parties give notification of the completion of their procedures
Decision 2002/179/EC The agreement enters into force on the day on which the parties give notification of the completion of their procedures

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.