Last Updated on 26 October 2016
Turkey’s EU Accession Negotiations was started on 3 October 2005. Turkey’s Negotiation Framework Document which states the technicalities and methods of the negotiations was also adopted on the same day. Turkey’s EU accession process is conducted in 35 chapters in the context of Negotiation Framework. Chapter 34-Institutions and Chapter 35- Other Issues are addressed at the very last stage of the negotiations.
During the negotiation process, chapters are opened depending upon the candidate country’s fulfilment of opening benchmarks, which are determined by the EU Council, and once again chapters are provisionally closed depending upon the candidate country’s fulfilment of closing benchmarks, which are also determined by the EU Council. One single member country by declaring her negative opinion can block the opening or closing of the chapters.
Screening meetings were held which constitute the first stage of accession negotiations. The first screening meeting was held on 20 October 2005 on Chapter 25- Science and Research and the last one was held on 13 October 2006 on Chapter 23- Judiciary and Fundamental Rights.
On 12 June 2006 the Intergovernmental Conference for Turkey was held and Chapter 25- Science and Research was opened to negotiations and was provisionally closed on the same day.
In Turkey’s EU accession negotiations, 16 chapters are opened whereas only one chapter is temporarily closed.
25) Science and Research (provisionally closed) (Austria, 12.06.2006)
20) Enterprise and Industrial Policy (Germany, 29.03.2007)
18) Statistics (Germany, 26.06.2007)
32) Financial Control (Germany, 26.06.2007)
21) Trans-European Networks (Portugal, 19.12.2007)
28) Consumer and Health Protection (Portugal, 19.12.2007)
6) Company Law (Slovenia, 17.06.2008)
7) Intellectual Property Law (Slovenia, 17.06.2008)
4) Free Movement of Capital (France, 19.12.2008)
10) Information Society and Media (France, 19.12.2008)
16) Taxation (Czech Republic, 30.06.2009)
27) Environment (Sweden, 21.12.2009)
12) Food Safety, Veterinary and Phytosanitary Policy (Spain, 30.06.2010)
22) Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments (Lithuania,05.11.2013)
17) Economic and Monetary Policy (Luxembourg, 14.12.2015)
33) Financial and Budgetary Provisions (Netherlands, 30.06.2016)
14 chapters are blocked due to the political decisions of the EU Council and Southern Cyprus. According to the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council Decision of 11 December 2006, fulfilment of Turkey’s commitments under the Additional Protocol is opening benchmark for 8 chapters and closing benchmark for all chapters.
The aforementioned decision states that: “The Council decided in particular to suspend negotiations on eight chapters relevant to Turkey's restrictions with regard to the Republic of Cyprus, and will not close the other chapters until Turkey fulfils its commitments under the additional protocol to the EU-Turkey association agreement, which extended the EU-Turkey customs union to the ten member states, including Cyprus, that joined the EU in May 2004”.
Chapters suspended by the General Affairs and External Relations Council Decision of 11 December 2006:
1) Free Movement of Goods
3) Right of Establishment and Freedom to Provide Services
9) Financial Services
11) Agriculture and Rural Development
14) Transport Policy
29) Customs Union
30) External Relations
Moreover, during the EU General Affairs Council meeting of 8 December 2009, Greek Cypriots declared that the unilateral “normalisation” of relations was set as a precondition for the progress in 6 chapters.
Chapters unilaterally blocked by Southern Cyprus :
2) Free Movement of Workers
23) Judiciary and Fundamental Rights
24) Justice, Freedom and Security
26) Education and Culture
31) Foreign, Security and Defence Policy
Although the screening process of 33 chapters was completed back in 2006, screening reports of 8 chapters are still pending for approval at the Council. Since the screening reports are not officially sent to Turkey, the potential opening benchmarks of those chapters are not communicated.
Notwithstanding that that no Chapters can be closed due to the aforementioned Additional Protocol, Chapter 20. Enterprise and Industry, and Chapter 21. Trans-European Networks are ready to be closed.
European Commission confirmed the fulfilment of 7 closing benchmarks of 5 chapters.
Chapters Whose Closing Benchmarks Were Confirmed to Be Fulfilled:
6) Company Law (1 CB)
20) Enterprise and Industrial Policy (1 CB)
21) Trans-European Networks (1 CB)
28) Consumer and Health Protection (1 CB)
32) Financial Control (3 CB)
Last updated: 2016-10-26 12:18:20