Relations between Turkey and the EU

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Information about Relations between Turkey and the EU
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Published on November 23, 2007

Author: ozturk

Source: authorstream.com

Relations Between Turkey and the European Union:  Relations Between Turkey and the European Union Turkey – EU association relations date back to the signing of the Ankara Agreement in 1963. The main aim of these relations has always been Turkey’s eventual full membership to the EU. One of the most important turning points of Turkey – EU relations is the completion of the Customs Union as of January 1, 1996. Customs Union, not only helped Turkey to harmonize with the EU norms in the areas covered by this relationship, but also brought a new impetus to these relations with an even stronger perspective for membership. Customs Union: What trade figures show:  Customs Union: What trade figures show Turkey’s imports from the EU15 199516.8 million $ 199623.1 million $ 200026.6 million $ 200545.3 million $ Turkey’s exports to the EU15 199511.1 million $ 199611.5 million $ 200014,5 million $ 200535.8 million $ Customs Union: What trade figures do not show:  Customs Union: What trade figures do not show Customs Union contributed to the modernization of production patterns and increased consumer awareness. Customs Union formed the framework for the works to increase competitiveness both internally and internationally. Turkish industry entered into a strong competition with EU firms not only at European level but in domestic markets. The legal and regulatory changes made to harmonize with the EU technical legislation and standards helped Turkish products to reach international markets more easily. Customs Union: What trade figures do not show:  Customs Union: What trade figures do not show The Customs Union is established with the aim of Turkey’s EU membership The whole body of the modalities of the CU system has been drawn with this aim. For this reason, the CU between Turkey and the EU contains a deep and comprising understanding of integration. Helsinki Summit: Another turning point:  Helsinki Summit: Another turning point The Helsinki Summit meeting of the December 1999 forms another important turning point in Turkey – EU relations. In Helsinki, the EU leaders confirmed Turkey’s candidacy status and included Turkey to the enlargement strategy drawn in Copenhagen in 1993 (the Copenhagen criteria) From 1999 to 2004: Efforts to fulfill the political criteria:  From 1999 to 2004: Efforts to fulfill the political criteria The precondition to start the accession negotiations is to fulfill the political criteria. Thus, Turkey went through a major reform process concerning its democracy and human rights standards The constitution was amended twice, and Turkey adopted eight comprehensive reform packages in order to align with the Copenhagen political criteria. 2004: Launching of the Accession Negotiations:  2004: Launching of the Accession Negotiations On 6 October 2004, in its regular progress report for Turkey, the Commission said it “... considers that Turkey sufficiently fulfils the political criteria and recommends accession negotiations be opened.” The European Parliament approved this decision. And on 17 December 2004, the leaders of the EU member countries decided to start the accession negotiations with Turkey as of 3 October 2005. Stages of Accession Process:  Stages of Accession Process Negotiation Decision (17 December 2004) Negotiation Framework (3 October 2005) Screening (20 October 2005) (October 2006) Actual Negotiations Temporary and final closure of negotiation chapters Signing of the Accession Treaty Approval of the Treaty, and Accession 2005: Two important developments:  2005: Two important developments Starting of the accession negotiations: The first stage of the accession process –the screening- started on 20 October 2005 on the acquis chapter “Science and Research”. The screening process is progressing smoothly and timely. So far, in 14 of the 35 chapters the screening is completed. The whole screening process will end by October this year. The actual negotiations on the first aquis chapter will start soon, and the rest will follow in due course. 2005: Two important developments:  2005: Two important developments Another important development since the opening of accession negotiations has been the recognition of Turkey as a “functioning market economy” by the European Commission in its last Progress Report. Thereby, Turkey fulfilled the first component of the Copenhagen economic criteria. It is anticipated that, in the near future, Turkey will also satisfy the second parameters of these criteria by proving its capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the EU. The future: How will the accession negotiations proceed?:  The future: How will the accession negotiations proceed? Negotiations are held in two levels: Technical and political. Not much to “negotiate” in the technical sphere. The EU acquis will have to be adopted. The subject of the negotiations is the timetable for adaptation, implementation and enforcement of the acquis and not the substance itself. The future: How will the accession negotiations proceed?:  The future: How will the accession negotiations proceed? The political sphere is the Intergovernmental Conference that meets twice a year during the negotiations process. It is the place where opening and closing of chapter headings are decided with unanimity. In the IGC meetings, positions and strategies are discussed among the ministers of the member states and the candidate country. Conclusion: What should Turkey do?:  Conclusion: What should Turkey do? The accession negotiations will be hard. But at the end Turkey will have internationally accepted norms and standards in all the areas covered by the EU acquis, and become an EU member. The accession process should not be regarded as a set of technical adaptations. Each and every harmonization work done in the process have a trigger effect on other areas, and at the end a total transformation will take place. Conclusion: What should Turkey do?:  Conclusion: What should Turkey do? At this stage Turkey should: pay utmost attention to the implementation of the political reforms, sustain the improvement in economy, construct an effective administrative structure to manage the negotiations (transparency and participation), focus on a two-way communication strategy in order to help EU nationals understand Turkey and Turkish nationals understand the EU. and take all the measures to manage this process in the best way possible.

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