Turkey's first step through the EU was the application for accession in 1959. EEC Council of Ministers has accepted the application and an association agreement named Ankara Agreement was signed between Turkey and EEC on the 12th September 1963 and it has been in force since 1st of December 1964 and will be in force until the membership criteria are fulfilled. Another important focus after this date is that Turkey applied for full membership before all the transition periods which was envisaged in the Ankara Agreement are over. The Commission denied the application claiming that the EEC did not completed its own integration but it was declared that Turkey was eligible to join the EU. In this context, Turkey completed its work by 1995 in order to participate in the Customs Union as foreseen in the Joint Protocol which entered into force in 1973 and the Customs Union between Turkey and the EEC was officially established on the 1st of January 1996. After this date, Turkey's candidateship was officially announced in the EU Summit of Heads and State Governments which was held in Helsinki on 10-11 December 1999 and it was also stated that Turkey would have the same status as the other candidate countries. In the Brussels Summit which was held on 17 December 2004, it was stated that the negotiations between Turkey and EU could start. Finally, Negotiation Framework Document was accepted and the Accession Negotiations were officially started.
The Screening Process
The Accession Negotiations principally start with the screening process.
During the screening process which consists of analytical examination of the EU acquis, candidate countries are being informed in detail about the EU acquis and they indicate their level of alignment with the EU legislation. In the screening process which aims to prepare candidate countries for the negotiations and to give a momentum to the process before the accession, the differences between the EU acquis and the candidate country's legislation are identified and the possible problems during the alignment process is specified. This process in which the subjects of the chapters are set is also a period for the establishment of administrative structures and fortifying the existing structures for the implementation of the EU acquis.
After the screening process, a screening report is prepared and presented to European Council by the Commission. The evaluations and suggestions presented in this report constitute a base for the opening of the negotiations for the relevant chapter. The Commission evaluates Turkey's preparatory level for the negotiations according to the information provided during the screening process and it proposes either opening of the chapter or it states the benchmarks to be met for this purpose.
In this context, among 35 chapters, 3 chapters are conducted by our Ministry:
Chapter 11: Agriculture and Rural Development
Chapter 12: Food Safety, Veterinary and Phytosanitary Policy
Chapter 13: Fisheries
Among these three chapters, only Chapter 12 is open for the negotiations and the others are suspended due to the decision of "full implementation of Additional Protocol" taken by EU General Affairs and External Relations Council during the Summit of 13-14 December 2006 and accordingly due to Turkey's reservation about recognizing Greek Republic of Southern Cyprus.
The process for the Chapter 11, 12 and 13 is shown on the table below:
|The Process||Chapter 11||Chapter 12||Chapter 13|
|Explanatory Screening Meeting ||5-8 December 2005||9-15 March 2006||24 February 2006 |
|Detailed Screening Meeting||23-26 January 2006 ||24-28 April 2006||31 March 2006|
|Screening Report||13 October 2006||February 2007 ||Not officially approved|
|Opening benchmarks||24 February 2007 ||12 June 2007 ||Not officially declared|
|Negotiations||Not started yet||30 June 2010 ||Not started yet|
|Closing benchmarks||-||30 June 2010 ||-|
The European Commission follows regularly the improvements of the candidate countries and it presents the improvements by "Progress Reports" which is prepared annually. The related legislation on a specific matter must have been prepared, approved and must be in force so that it can be evaluated as a "progress" in the Report. In 2012, there was an exceptional initiative of the Minister of EU Affairs and the Chief Negotiator of that period, Mr. Egemen Bağış, that our country prepared its own Progress Report and announced all the developments achieved in that year.
Click here to reach all of the Progress Reports published.
Accession Partnership Document
Accession Partnership Documents introduces all the work that needs to be completed by the candidate countries based on a timeline. Accession Partnership Documents consist of "Short term" and "medium term" priorities which are renewed by the Commission according to the progress of a candidate country. The first Accession Partnership Document was published in 2001 and it was revised 2006 and 2008.
Click here to reach all of the Accession Partnership Document published.
Each candidate country prepares a detailed National Programme in order to fulfill the priorities set in the Accession Partnership Document and to be aligned with the EU acquis. National Programme includes a timetable for the fulfillment of the priorities and for the measures that must be taken by the candidate countries and also human and financial resources necessary to achieve these aims. During the accession process, National Programmes are revised and accordingly renewed in the context of the stages of the progress. The latest National Programme provided by Turkey was published in 2008.
Click here to reach all of the National Programmes published.
National Action Plan
In order to give impetus to Turkey's accession to the EU, "National Action Plan for EU Accession" was prepared within the scope of "Turkey's EU Strategy". National Action Plan for EU Accession consists of two phases. Phase I - "Short Term National Plan" contains priorities on primary and secondary legislation and institution building which is envisaged to be harmonized between November 2014 and June 2015. In this context;
- There are 2 primary legislation, 1 secondary legislation and 2 institution building measures under Chapter 11.
- There are 20 secondary legislation and 1 institution building measure under Chapter 12.
- There are not any legislation/measures in the short term for Chapter 13.
Click here to reach the Phase-I of the National Action Plan.
Phase II contains priorities on primary and secondary legislation and institution building which is foreseen to be harmonized between June 2015 and June 2019. In this context;
- There are 1 primary legislation, 4 secondary legislation and 7 institution building measures under Chapter 11.
- There are 72 secondary legislation and 8 institution building measures under Chapter 12.
- There are 2 primary legislation, 2 secondary legislation and 4 institution building measures under Chapter 13.
Click here to reach the second phase of the National Action Plan.