Category Archives: Justice freedom and security: enlargement

The area of freedom, security and justice is part of the Community acquis. In this respect, the countries applying for membership of the European Union (EU) must adopt and implement the measures necessary to align with the body of laws and practices of the EU. The fields concerned include border management, civil justice and combating drugs, organised crime and money laundering.
EU accession also implies acceptance of the entire Schengen acquis. EU membership does not though entail an automatic lifting of controls at the internal borders with the other members of the Schengen area. A specific decision must be adopted by the Council once the conditions for lifting controls have been met.

Mechanism for collective evaluation of the application by applicant countries of the European Union acquis
ONGOING ENLARGEMENT
Croatia – Justice and security
Turkey – Justice and security
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Justice and security
Iceland – Justice and security

Justice, freedom and security: enlargement

Justice, freedom and security: enlargement

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Justice, freedom and security: enlargement

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Justice freedom and security: enlargement

Justice, freedom and security: enlargement

The area of freedom, security and justice is part of the Community acquis. In this respect, the countries applying for membership of the European Union (EU) must adopt and implement the measures necessary to align with the body of laws and practices of the EU. The fields concerned include border management, civil justice and combating drugs, organised crime and money laundering.
EU accession also implies acceptance of the entire Schengen acquis. EU membership does not though entail an automatic lifting of controls at the internal borders with the other members of the Schengen area. A specific decision must be adopted by the Council once the conditions for lifting controls have been met.

  • Mechanism for collective evaluation of the application by applicant countries of the European Union acquis

ONGOING ENLARGEMENT

  • Croatia – Justice and security
  • Turkey – Justice and security
  • The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Justice and security
  • Iceland – Justice and security

ENLARGEMENT OF JANUARY 2007

  • Bulgaria
  • Romania

ENLARGEMENT OF MAY 2004

  • Cyprus
  • Estonia
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • Poland
  • The Czech Republic
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia

Mechanism for collective evaluation of the application by applicant countries of the European Union acquis

Mechanism for collective evaluation of the application by applicant countries of the European Union acquis

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Mechanism for collective evaluation of the application by applicant countries of the European Union acquis

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Justice freedom and security: enlargement

Mechanism for collective evaluation of the application by applicant countries of the European Union acquis

A mechanism is to be established under the pre-accession strategy for national and Commission experts to evaluate collectively – within the framework of the Council – the enactment, application and effective implementation by the applicant countries of the European Union acquis.

2) Union Measure

Joint Action 98/429/JHA of 29 June 1998 adopted by the Council on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union, establishing a mechanism for collective evaluation of the enactment, application and effective implementation by the applicant countries of the acquis of the European Union in the field of Justice and Home Affairs.

3) Contents

The collective evaluation mechanism consists of a group of experts who, under the Coreper’s supervision, will prepare and update collective evaluations of the applicant countries’ enactment, application and effective implementation of the European Union acquis in the field of justice and home affairs. One or more Member States, in close association with the Commission, may provide particular assistance in preparing and updating comprehensive reports for a particular applicant country. These reports will form the basis of the evaluations referred to above (Article 2).

All the relevant information will be made available by the Member States and the Commission to the group of experts so it can prepare and update collective evaluations for each applicant country and make an assessment of potential problem areas (Article 3).

Evaluations will be based on four categories of information:

  • information provided individually and collectively by Member States based on their direct experience of working with the applicant countries, including information available within Schengen;
  • where appropriate, reports from Member States’ embassies and Commission delegations in the applicant countries compiled, if necessary, on the basis of a questionnaire to be prepared by the group of experts;
  • information to which the Commission has access through its role in the overall process of accession, including reports from missions under the Phare programme;
  • reports by the Council of Europe on the implementation of Council of Europe conventions and recommendations, or reports by any other sources which are considered relevant to the content of the acquis.

Additional information may be required for more detailed evaluations of specific issues. Ad hoc teams of representatives and experts from the Member States and the Commission will be set up for this purpose (Article 3).

The group of experts will report to the Council on the progress and results of the evaluations through Coreper and in close cooperation with the Committee established under Article K.4 of the Treaty and with other Council bodies involved in the enlargement process. The Commission has been asked to take account of the collective evaluations in its proposals for any significant adjustment of the priorities and objectives of the accession partnerships which have to be submitted for Council approval (Article 4).

4) Deadline For Implementation Of The Legislation In The Member States

5) Date Of Entry Into Force (If Different From The Above)

7 July 1998

6) References

Official Journal L 191, 7.7.1998

7) Follow-Up Work

8) Implementing Measures

Iceland – Justice and security

Iceland – Justice and security

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Iceland – Justice and security

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Justice freedom and security: enlargement

Iceland – Justice and security

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.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1202 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

In its 2011 Report the Commission notes Iceland’s progress on justice and security, even though the country already applies high standards, as well as a significant part of the European Union (EU) acquis relating to these areas.

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

EU policies in the area of justice and home affairs aim at maintaining and developing the Union as an area of freedom, security and justice. On issues such as border control, visas, migration, asylum, police cooperation, combating organised crime and cooperation with regard to drug trafficking, customs cooperation and judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters, Member States need to be equipped to ensure that they are able to implement adequate standards and an increasing number of common rules. In order to do this, it is important first and foremost that the bodies responsible for applying the law and other competent bodies have robust and integrated administrative capacities which comply with the set standards. The setting up of a professional, reliable and efficient police force is of paramount importance. The Schengen acquis, which entails the lifting of internal border controls in the EU, is the most detailed element of the EU’s policies on justice, freedom and security. However, substantial parts of the Schengen acquis are implemented by the new Member States, following a separate decision taken by the Council after their accession.

EU policies relating to the judicial system and fundamental rights aim at pursuing and aiding the development of the Union as an area for freedom, security and justice. The establishment of an independent and efficient judicial system is of paramount importance. Impartiality, integrity and a high level of competency regarding the rulings made by courts are essential in maintaining the rule of law. This requires a firm commitment to eliminate all external influences on the judicial system and to dedicate the appropriate financial resources and training facilities to it. It is necessary to offer the necessary legal guarantees to ensure fair judicial procedures. Member States must also tackle corruption effectively insofar as it represents a risk to the stability of democratic institutions and the rule of law. It is necessary to establish a solid judicial framework and reliable institutions to which a coherent policy for preventing and dissuading corruption may be applied. Member States must ensure that the fundamental rights and the rights of EU citizens, as guaranteed by the acquis and the Charter for Fundamental Rights, are respected.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

The country has continued to reinforce the independence of the judiciary and the anti-corruption policy framework. Further monitoring of the implementation of these measures is required. The country also continued to reinforce the protection of fundamental rights. The monitoring of these measures must also be reinforced.

Alignment of legislation relating to citizens’ rights and data protection has not been achieved.

Iceland continues to apply the Schengen Agreement and the alignment of its legislation in the fields of justice, freedom and security has progressed satisfactorily. Additional effort is expected in order to ratify and implement international instruments relating to child protection, and combating organised crime and counterfeiting.

Turkey – Justice and security

Turkey – Justice and security

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Turkey – Justice and security

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Justice freedom and security: enlargement

Turkey – Justice and security

Commission Report [COM(1998) 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].
Commission Report [COM(2005) 561 final – SEC(2005) 1426 – Not published in the Official Journal].
Commission Report [COM(2006) 649 final – SEC(2006) 1390 – Not published in the Official Journal].
Commission Report [COM(2007) 663 final – SEC(2007) 1436 – Not published in the Official Journal].
Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 – Not published in the Official Journal].
Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The November 1998 report stated that the 1995 EC-Turkey Association Council resolutions provided for cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Turkey on justice and home affairs issues. Political considerations meant that these arrangements had remained in abeyance until 1998. In that year, a meeting was held in Brussels between the specialised Council committee and the Turkish authorities, where a number of topics relating to justice and home affairs were covered. The Commission stressed the need to develop active cooperation with Turkey on immigration.
The October 1999 report stressed that, despite some improvements, progress still needed to be made, particularly on immigration and asylum (concluding readmission agreements, lifting the geographical reservation to the 1951 Geneva Convention), border controls (merging the various departments involved), the fight against organised crime (stepping up the fight against trafficking of human beings) and the fight against drug trafficking (increasing cooperation with the Member States). A number of international agreements on judicial cooperation in civil and criminal law still needed to be ratified.
In its November 2000 report, the Commission noted that Turkey had made no significant progress in the field of justice and home affairs. Turkey still needed to make efforts to bring itself into line with Community law in the areas of combating fraud and corruption, the fight against drugs, as well as customs and judicial cooperation.
In its November 2001 report, the Commission noted that Turkey had made some progress in the field of justice and home affairs.
The October 2002 report noted that the country needed to step up its efforts to align its legal framework on data protection, combating illegal immigration, reinforcing border controls and adopting legislation on asylum and immigration. It also needed to improve coordination between law enforcement services and continue the reform of its legal system.
The November 2003 report noted that Turkey had made serious progress, particularly in improving and intensifying its cooperation with the EU and the Member States in a range of fields, such as the fight against illegal migration and organised crime. It still needed to implement the strategies already adopted and intensify its efforts to align its legal and institutional framework.
In its October 2004 report, the Commission recognised the progress made by Turkey in aligning its legislation with the EU law and practices. Further progress was needed in the reform of the judicial system, the fight against corruption and human trafficking and the control of illegal migration.
The October 2005 report showed that Turkey had made progress in aligning its law with EU legislation and practice. Nevertheless, further progress was considered necessary in a number of important areas, such as implementation of the national action plan for alignment with the EU on illegal immigration and asylum, cooperation with the EU in combating illegal immigration and human trafficking, the national strategy to combat organised crime and the legislative framework for combating money laundering.
The November 2006 report noted some progress, particularly in the areas of asylum, border management, the fight against human trafficking, as well as customs and police cooperation. Alignment with EU legislation in this chapter was under way, but considerable efforts were still needed in areas such as migration, the fight against organised crime, money laundering and judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters.
The November 2007 report showed that Turkey had made progress in aligning its law with EU legislation and practice. Improvements had also been made in the fight against organised crime, money laundering and human trafficking. However, considerable efforts still needed to be made in the areas of police cooperation, external borders, migration and asylum.
The November 2008 Report indicated that alignment with EU legislation was underway and that some progress had been achieved, especially in the fight against drugs and human trafficking. However, efforts needed to be stepped up, in particular on visa policy, judicial cooperation in criminal matters and the fight against organised crime. Additional efforts also needed to be made on asylum, migration and border management issues.
The October 2009 report notes that Turkey achieved uneven progress in its alignment with EU legislation. Limited progress was achieved in the areas of external borders and Schengen, as well as immigration and asylum. The system for asylum still needs to be reorganised. Only little progress was made on visa policy and none on judicial cooperation.

COMMUNITY ACQUIS (in the Commission’s words)

EU policies in the area of justice and home affairs aim at maintaining and developing the Union as an area of freedom, security and justice. On issues such as border control, visas, migration, asylum, drug trafficking and money laundering, combating organised crime, the fight against terrorism, fraud and corruption, police and judicial cooperation, customs cooperation, data protection and the mutual recognition of court judgements, as well as human rights legal instruments, Member States need to be equipped to ensure they achieve adequate and acceptable standards of implementation. Administrative capacity must be up to these standards by the date of accession. Furthermore, an independent, reliable and efficient judiciary and police organisation are of paramount importance. The key element of this chapter concerns the Schengen acquis, which entails the lifting of internal border controls in the EU. However, substantial parts of this acquis do not apply upon accession of a new Member State, but only later, after a separate Council decision.

EVALUATION

In the area of the fight against drugs, an agreement between Turkey and the EU on precursors and chemical substances used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances came into force in 2004. In compliance with the EU 2005-20 anti-drugs strategy, the national strategy was adopted in November 2006. An action plan for the period 2007-09 was adopted in 2008 to implement it. In 2007, Turkey submitted its first report to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). Once it is participating fully in the centre’s work, Turkey will have to set up a data collection network in compliance with its rules. An agreement on its participation was signed in 2008, but it still needs to be ratified and implemented. Turkey also participates in the meetings of the European information network on drugs and drug addiction (REITOX). Its national REITOX Focal Point was attached in 2008 to the police department for combating smuggling and organised crime, though it lacks human resources and an autonomous budget. Turkey is also a member of the Major Donors Group of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and a signatory to the Council of Europe Agreement on illicit traffic by sea. In 2007, it notified the Central Dublin Group that it wished to become a member, but progress has not yet been made on the setting up of a mini-Dublin group in Ankara. In 2008, the parliamentary commission on the fight against drugs and on drug demand reduction issued a report with recommendations for the institutional and legislative framework to fight against drugs.

As for the fight against organised crime, the 2005 Code of Criminal Procedure provides for new powers for investigations in the area of detection, surveillance of telecommunications, shadowing and medical examinations. The successive amendments to the Code have criminalised smuggling and human trafficking (2002), increased the punishments for these crimes (2005) and provided for the freezing and confiscation of the assets of smugglers and traffickers. The changes made to the law on organised crime increased the number of crimes for which surveillance of communications is authorised. In 2007, Turkey adopted laws on the fight against smuggling and cyber-crimes and a national strategy to combat crime. Subsequently, an internet department was set up and implementing legislation to the law on cyber-crime adopted. In 2008, a law on witness protection was adopted, as was a regulation to implement this law, and a department for witness protection was set up within the police force. The implementation of witness protection programmes is underway. The regulation on the principles and procedures governing controlled delivery was extended in 2008 to include the coast guard and the customs administration. The establishment of a legal framework for a nationwide DNA and fingerprint database has progressed. However, Turkey needs to update its strategy against organised crime and to follow it up with an action plan.
Turkey is also party to all the main international conventions (Palermo Convention) and to the additional protocol for the prevention, repression and punishment of human trafficking, the protocol against trafficking of migrants by land, air and sea and the protocol against the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, their parts, components and ammunition. In 2004, the country had already signed a cooperation agreement with Europol to combat serious forms of organised crime.

The specialised human trafficking unit was set up in 2004. Its role is to enhance dialogue and coordination between the police and the competent authorities. Since 2004, medical treatment for victims of human trafficking has been free and two shelters for these victims have been opened in Istanbul and Ankara. However, funding for the centres is not guaranteed. The National Task Force on combating human trafficking meets regularly, but its structure and powers need to still be improved.
The Turkish authorities have launched a programme to combat human trafficking in cooperation with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) (2005) and amended the law on the crime of human trafficking (2007). In 2007, protocols on cooperation and information exchange were ratified with Kyrgyzstan and Moldavia. In 2009, Turkey signed the Council of Europe Convention on action against trafficking in human beings, which needs to still be ratified.
As regards awareness-raising and training activities, a circular and a guide have been published for staff who deal with cases of human trafficking. Information can be obtained through the free emergency hotline, which has been extended to international calls. However, the hotline is still operated by the IOM and should be transferred to the relevant Turkish public authorities without delay.

The Supreme Council on Counter-Terrorism, set up in 2006, remains the leading authority and is responsible for taking measures to combat terrorism and for drawing up recommendations. The 2006 law extends the definition of terrorist acts and terrorists, reinforces the penalties for these crimes and criminalises the financing of terrorism. The law on the prevention of laundering proceeds of crime (2007) authorizes the Turkish Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) to gather information on suspicious transactions involving financing of terrorism. A special unit has been established under MASAK to fight the financing of terrorism. Implementing legislation has also been adopted to identify any transactions that may be related to the financing of terrorism.
With regard to international instruments, Turkey has ratified the International Convention for the suppression of terrorist bombings (2002) and the protocol to the European Convention on the suppression of terrorism (2005). It has not yet ratified the UN International Convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism or the Council of Europe Convention on the prevention of terrorism. International cooperation has been reinforced by the signing of agreements and the adoption of action plans with the Member States (Germany, Finland, Poland and the United Kingdom) and other countries (Uzbekistan and India). Measures should be taken to ensure compliance with the recommendations of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) on the financing of terrorism.

Little progress has been made in the fight against corruption. In 2003, Turkey adopted a law implementing the 1997 OECD Convention on combating bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions. A year later, it joined the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), which monitors compliance with anti-corruption legislation. Turkey also applied both the law establishing a council on ethics in the public service to supervise the conduct of all public officials (with the exception of the president, members of parliament and ministers) and the law on electronic signatures. In 2004 and 2003, respectively, Turkey ratified the Council of Europe Criminal and Civil Law Conventions on corruption. It has set up a central anti-smuggling department and issued a governmental decree on an action plan for enhancing transparency and good governance in the public sector. In addition, a parliamentary investigative committee was set up to consider the economic and social aspects of corruption. In 2005, the Criminal Code came into force. It introduced more severe punishments for crimes of corruption, extended the time limits for proceedings, and introduced the concept of corporate criminal liability in corruption cases and provisions on corruption in public procurement. In the same year, two anti-corruption committees were established in parliament to investigate petrol smuggling, illegal public offerings and misuse of bank deposits. In 2006, the law on access to information was amended and the UN Anti-Corruption Convention was adopted. Since 2007, the ministerial committee for enhancing transparency and good governance has been responsible for shaping and coordinating policies vis-à-vis international organisations. However, the committee has yet to take initiatives regarding anti-corruption. In 2009, the Turkish parliament adopted a law to amend the Penal Code and the Code of Misdemeanours. This takes into account the GRECO’s recommendations, aligns with international conventions and implements the requirements of the OECD Convention as well as the FATF recommendations on the prevention of money-laundering. The Ethics Board for Civil Servant has also, for the first time, published decisions on the non-compliance with ethic rules by civil servants.
Nevertheless, corruption remains widespread. No public body is responsible for gathering data and statistics on corruption. No progress has been made regarding the adoption of the Law on the Court of Auditors. The absence of a public accounts committee prevents effective oversight of public expenditure. It is essential to limit the immunities granted and to improve legislation and transparency on the financing of political parties and election campaigns. Turkey should also develop an anti-corruption strategy, create a central body to coordinate its implementation, and strengthen legislation. With a view to preparing for such a strategy, the government organised a public consultation in 2009.

The Banking Law (2003) had already broadened the scope of money-laundering offences and lengthened the related limitation period. In 2007, a new law on the prevention of laundering the proceeds of crime had already come into force. It addresses the system for reporting suspicious transactions (including those relating to terrorism), record-keeping, protection of parties and the role of MASAK. Implementation regulations and an action plan to further enforce this law were adopted in 2009. In 2002, MASAK adopted a regulation regarding the customer identification requirement and procedures for the groups responsible for reporting suspicious transactions. In 2006, Turkey adopted an Anti-Terrorist Law that makes the financing of terrorism a separate offence. In 2008, it adopted a regulation on measures to prevent laundering of proceeds of crime and terrorist financing.
Turkey is party to the 1990 Council of Europe Convention and to the 2005 Convention on the financing of terrorism. The Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention on corruption, which makes it an offence to launder the proceeds of corruption, was ratified in 2004. In 2007, Turkey signed the Council of Europe Convention on laundering, search, seizure and confiscation of the proceeds from crime and on the financing of terrorism, but ratification is pending. Turkey signed Memoranda of Understanding on information exchange with Afghanistan, Indonesia, Mongolia, Portugal and Sweden in 2008 and with Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Romania and Syria in 2009.
In 2007, the FATF published a report indicating Turkey’s non-compliance with its recommendations in areas such as customer due diligence requirements, list of liable parties, and reporting of suspicious transactions. In 2009, Turkey submitted its follow-up report describing the measures it has taken to address these issues.

Turkey is party to all the main international conventions in the field of police cooperation. Its overall contribution to cooperation with the international police and the Member States is satisfactory. In 2004, it signed an agreement with Belarus to step up the fight against human trafficking. Turkey signed bilateral agreements on police cooperation with Lebanon in 2008 and with Spain in 2009.
Turkey must continue its efforts to participate in Europol and the Schengen Information System (SIS). The absence of legislation on data protection continues to pose an obstacle to international cooperation and to the conclusion of an operational agreement with Europol. As regards administrative capacity, a working group on harmonisation with Europol legislation has been set up and is coordinated by the office of the legal counsel of the Ministry of the Interior.
In 2003-04, a training programme for the police and the gendarmerie was implemented in cooperation with the Council of Europe. In addition, the gendarmerie has adopted a “model human rights training programme”. Forensic police officers have been trained in order to improve their capacity to detect and analyse evidence. Furthermore, a code of ethics for law enforcement agents that is in line with international standards has been adopted and introduced into the training programmes. In 2009, a regulation was published on reviewing and redrafting the mandate of the police and gendarmerie within provincial and district municipalities.

Limited progress has been made in the area of judicial cooperation in criminal and civil matters. Direct contact between judicial authorities, direct enforcement of foreign decisions, the abolition of dual criminal liability and the restriction of the scope of grounds for refusal are not always allowed under the Turkish legal system. Gradual alignment with private international law and with legislation on access to justice and on insolvency proceedings needs to be ensured. Legislation regarding judicial cooperation in criminal matters is not in line with EU standards, in particular as regards the extradition of both Turkish and foreign citizens, the application of the ne bis in idem (double jeopardy) principle, environmental crime, provisions on victims’ rights and the implementation of the European arrest warrant.
In 2004, Turkey ratified the Hague Convention on the taking of evidence abroad in civil or commercial matters. It is a member of the European Convention on mutual assistance in criminal matters (1959) and the protocol to this Convention, but has not signed the second additional protocol (2001). In 2008, Turkey adopted a law implementing the 1980 Hague Convention on child abduction as well as a law on international private and procedural law. However, the Council of Europe Convention on cybercrime and a cooperation agreement with Eurojust should still be signed.

In the area of customs cooperation, Turkey launched the GUMSIS project (security system project for customs checkpoints) in May 2002. Turkey cooperates with the South-East European Cooperation Initiative (SECI) on customs-related matters, the fight against cross-border crime and corruption. In November 2004, it took part in the “Toledo II” customs operation to counter cocaine smuggling and in July 2005, it participated in the “Roots” operation to combat drugs smuggling via the Balkans. In addition, mutual administrative assistance agreements have been signed with Slovenia and the Sudan. The new Criminal Code has improved the legal status of the Directorate-General for Customs Enforcement, which is currently implementing an extensive programme for improving border infrastructures. In 2005, the installation of X-ray equipment, closed-circuit television, a number-plate-scanning system and a vehicle monitoring system at some border crossing points led to a substantial increase in seizures of drugs and smuggled goods. In 2007, a risk management strategy and an action plan were drawn up for the Sub-Secretariat for Customs, and customs officials received training on risk analysis, narcotics and organised crime. In 2009, Turkey adopted a new customs law and aligned further with the EC Customs Code. Improvements have also been made on IPR legislation; however, further efforts need to be made to fully align with the acquis. Turkey’s administrative and operational capacity has also improved somewhat, in particular through the purchase of new equipment and recruitment of additional officers, though more should be done with regard to the risk-analysis system. Turkey has also progressed in achieving IT interconnectivity with the EU systems on transit (NCTS) and tariffs (TARIC and the quota and surveillance system), but no IT strategy has been adopted. It signed a protocol on exchanges of pre-shipment information with Russia and ratified customs cooperation agreements with Syria and South Africa.

As regards human rights instruments, Turkey still needs to improve the situation of fundamental rights in a number of areas and to address the problems that minorities are facing. The number of cases of torture and ill-treatment reported has however decreased, freedom of religion is generally guaranteed and the measures to protect women from violence have been improved. There has also been some progress regarding cultural rights. In 2009, Turkey expressed its formal intent to participate in the work of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency. Nevertheless, individuals continue to be prosecuted and convicted for expressing their opinion and proceedings brought against newspapers indicate that overall the Turkish legal system does not fully ensure freedom of expression in accordance with EU legislation. Several state bodies share responsibility for promoting and enforcing human rights; however, they lack independence and resources. Furthermore, the establishment of an ombudsman has been blocked, as this requires the Constitution to first be amended.
Turkey has ratified two protocols to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR): No 6 on the abolition of the death sentence (2003) and No 14 amending the control system of the Convention (2006). Three additional protocols to the ECHR have yet to be ratified. The number of applications to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) against Turkey has increased. Though Turkey has made progress in executing ECtHR judgements, implementation of those requiring legislative measures has been delayed by several years.
The first optional protocol to the International Covenant on civil and political rights entered into force in February 2007. It recognises the competence of the UN Human Rights Committee to receive and consider complaints from individuals on violations of human rights. Turkey ratified the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities in 2008 and signed its optional protocol in 2009. The optional protocol to the UN Convention against torture is currently being ratified. The UN Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination and the UN International Covenant on economic, social and cultural rights still need to be ratified. In general, the situation as regards fundamental rights in Turkey has improved significantly since 1999.

Little progress has been made on data protection. Under the Criminal Code it is an offence to gather and use personal data for purposes other than those allowed by the law. In June 2007, the unit responsible for the protection of personal data was granted observer status within the data protection working party, but it is still under-staffed. Turkey must align its legislation with the directive on data protection and establish an independent data protection supervisory authority. The Council of Europe Convention for the protection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data and its additional protocol on supervisory authorities and trans-border data flow also need to be ratified. Furthermore, reports indicate that there is broad use of wiretapping in Turkey, with the records being published in the press.

Croatia – Justice and security

Croatia – Justice and security

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Croatia – Justice and security

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Justice freedom and security: enlargement

Croatia – Justice and security

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.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1326 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The 2010 Report highlights the significant advancements made by Croatia to improve its legislation on asylum and immigration. These improvements concern the control of external borders, judicial cooperation, the fight against drugs and the extradition procedures with Serbia. Despite the significant progress, alignment with the acquis must continue with regard to visas.

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

EU policies in the area of justice and home affairs aim at maintaining and developing the Union as an area of freedom, security and justice. On issues such as border control, visas, migration, asylum, police cooperation, combating organised crime and cooperation with regard to drug trafficking, customs cooperation and judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters, Member States need to be equipped to ensure that they are able to implement adequate standards and an increasing number of common rules. In order to do this, it is important first and foremost that the bodies responsible for applying the law and other competent bodies have robust and integrated administrative capacities which comply with the set standards. The setting up of a professional, reliable and efficient police force is of paramount importance. The Schengen
acquis, which entails the lifting of internal border controls in the EU, is the most detailed element of the EU’s policies on justice, freedom and security. However, substantial parts of the Schengen acquis are implemented by the new Member States, following a separate decision taken by the Council after their accession.

EU policies relating to the judicial system and fundamental rights aim at pursuing and aiding the development of the Union as an area for freedom, security and justice. The establishment of an independent and efficient judicial system is of paramount importance. Impartiality, integrity and a high level of competency regarding the rulings made by courts are essential in maintaining the rule of law. This requires a firm commitment to eliminate all external influences on the judicial system and to dedicate the appropriate financial resources and training facilities to it. It is necessary to offer the necessary legal guarantees to ensure fair judicial procedures. Member States must also tackle corruption effectively insofar as it represents a risk to the stability of democratic institutions and the rule of law. It is necessary to establish a solid judicial framework and reliable institutions to which a coherent policy for preventing and dissuading corruption may be applied. Member States must ensure that the fundamental rights and the rights of EU citizens, as guaranteed by the acquis and the Charter for Fundamental Rights, are respected.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Croatia has made good progress on judiciary and fundamental rights. Reform of the judiciary has continued with the adoption of new legislation strengthening judicial independence and a further reduction of the case backlog.

However, judicial reform remains a major undertaking and significant challenges remain, especially relating to judicial efficiency, independence and accountability.

Anti-corruption efforts have been stepped up with some positive results but corruption remains prevalent in many areas. A track record of effective investigation, prosecution and court rulings remains to be established, especially for high level corruption. Preventive measures such as improved transparency of public spending need to be strengthened.

Protection of fundamental rights has been strengthened but need to be improved in practice, especially for minorities and refugees.

Croatia made substantial progress in the field of justice, freedom and security. The asylum system has been significantly improved, but attention needs to be paid to integrating persons granted protection in Croatia and to protecting minors among irregular migrants.

Good progress has been made in the field of visas. However, alignment with the acquis on visas needs to continue.

Progress has been made in the field of external borders. However, several aspects of the integrated border management action plan need to be amended and the upgrading of equipment needs to be stepped up.

Significant progress was made in the field of judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters.

Progress also continued in the counternarcotics policy.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1333 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2694 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The November 2008 report indicated that progress had been achieved especially on the fight against drugs and trafficking of human beings. However, further efforts were needed with regard to border management and the fight against organised crime. Reforming the judicial system had continued, though at a rather slow pace, and most of the tools to fight against corruption were already in place. Nevertheless, challenges still remained in terms of the judiciary as well as corruption. Efforts were also to be stepped up in terms of administrative capacity, in order to ensure Croatia’s proper implementation and enforcement of the EU acquis at the time of its accession.

Commission Report [COM(2007) 663 final – SEC(2007) 1431 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The November 2007 report noted that progress had been made, particularly on border management, migration and asylum. However, the action plan for integrated border management still had to be implemented and the equipment upgraded. Efforts were to be continued to ensure sufficient administrative and enforcement capacity, particularly in terms of inter-institutional cooperation.

Commission Report [COM(2006) 649 final – SEC(2006) 1385 – Not published in the Official Journal].

The November 2006 report noted progress in border management, visa policy and asylum. However, the action plan for integrated border management still had to be updated and the equipment modernised. Progress had been made in aligning with the acquis, but further efforts were needed.

Commission Report [COM(2005) 561 final – SEC(2005) 1424 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The October 2005 report noted that Croatia had made headway in aligning its legislation, adopting international instruments and regulating the management of its borders.

Commission Opinion [COM(2004) 257 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
In its April 2004 opinion, the Commission acknowledged that Croatia had made an effort to align its legislation with the acquis. Considerable progress had been made in reforming institutions, such as the police, the border police and the Financial Intelligence Unit. However, further investment was required in plant and equipment, in infrastructure and in strengthening the administrative capacity of the various law enforcement agencies. Furthermore, greater efforts were needed with regard to the rights of minorities, the return of refugees, the reform of the judicial system, regional cooperation and the fight against corruption.