Accession Negotiations

Accession Negotiations

Enlargement is one of the EU's most powerful policy tools. It is a carefully managed process which helps the transformation of the countries involved, extending peace, stability, prosperity, democracy, human rights and the rule of law across Europe.

The European Union enlargement process took a major step forward on 3 October, 2005 when accession negotiations were opened with Turkey and Croatia. After years of preparation the two candidates formally opened the next stage of the accession process.

The negotiations relate to the adoption and implementation of the EU body of law, know as the acquis. The acquis is approximately 130,000 pages of legal documents grouped into 35 chapters and forms the rules by which Member States of the EU should adhere.

As a candidate country, Turkey needs to adapt a considerable part of its national legislation in line with EU law. This means fundamental changes for society that will affect almost all sectors of the country, from the environment to the judiciary, from transport to agriculture, and across all sections of the population.

However, the candidate country does not 'negotiate' on the acquis communautaire itself as these 'rules' must be fully adopted by the candidate country.

The negotiation aspect is on the conditions for harmonisation and implementation of the acquis, that is, how the rules are going to be applied and when. It is for this reason that accession negotiations are not considered to be negotiations in the classical sense.

In order to become a Member State, the candidate country must bring its institutions, management capacity and administrative and judicial systems up to EU standards, both at national and regional level. This allows them to implement the acquis effectively upon accession and, where necessary, to be able to implement it effectively in good time before accession. This requires a well-functioning and stable public administration built on an efficient and impartial civil service, and an independent and efficient judicial system.

Detailed indications for each specific area of the acquis are given in the guide to the main administrative structures required for implementing the EU acquis [410 KB]

Key Links:
Directorate General for Enlargement, European Commission
Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Secretariat General for EU Affairs
Commission presents its recommendation on the continuation of Turkey's accession negotiations
Screening Reports

Regular Reports on Turkey
Report "The Turkish High Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors: Assessment of Its Initial Track Record of Operation"
Peer review report on Effectiveness of Judicial System by BERT VAN DELDEN
Peer review report on Criminal Judicial System by LUCA PERILLI
Peer review report on Independence by Prof.Dr.THOMAS GIEGERICH
Peer review report on Policing and Penitentiaries by Prof J.J.McMANUS
Peer review report on Fight Against Corruption by Tom McGoona
2013 Peer Review Report on Chapter 23: Judiciary and Fundamental Rights (by Professor Dr. iur. Thomas Giegerich) (PDF, 332 kB) 

Key Documents:
Press release of Council Meeting of General Affairs and External relations, 11 Dec. 2006 (289KB)
Recommendation of the European Commission on Turkey's progress towards accession – 6 October 2004  (PDF, 180 kB) (180KB)
Paper on issues arising from Turkey's membership perspective  (PDF, 441 kB) (440KB)
Conclusions of the European Council 16/17 December 2004 (PDF, 12.4 kB)  (12KB)
Negotiating Framework (42KB)
COUNCIL DECISION of 13 February 2008 on the principles, priorities and conditions contained in the Accession Partnership with the Republic of Turkey and repealing Decision (PDF, 212 kB)  (211KB)
COUNCIL DECISION of 23 January 2006 on the principles, priorities and conditions contained in the Accession Partnership with Turkey (PDF, 87 kB)  (86KB)
COUNCIL DECISION of 19 May 2003 on the principles, priorities, intermediate objectives and conditions contained in the Accession Partnership with the Republic of Turkey (PDF, 215 kB)  (215KB)
COUNCIL DECISION of 8 March 2001 on the principles, priorities, intermediate objectives and conditions contained in the Accession Partnership with the Republic of Turkey (PDF, 132 kB)  (131KB)
2011 Peer Review Report on the Independence, Impartiality and Administration of the Judiciary (by Professor Dr. Iur. Thomas Giegerich) (222KB)
2011 Peer Review Report on the Effectiveness of the Judiciary (by Luca Perilli) (345KB)
2011 Peer Review Report on Penitentiaries (by Dr J J McManus) (328KB)
2011 Peer Review Report on the National Human Rights institutions (by Kirsten Roberts and Bruce Adamson) (298KB)
2011 Peer Review Report on Anti-corruption (by Ursula Neder) (137KB)
2011 Peer Review Report on Fight against Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (by Andres Palumaa) (363KB)
2011 Peer Review Report on Fight Against Corruption (by W. DE PAUW) (535KB)
2011 Peer Review Report on Freedom of Expression (by Lord Macdonald of River Glaven QC) (131KB)
Annex Freedom of expression Statistics of court in 2008 (97KB)
Annex Freedom of expression Statistics of prosecution offices in 2008 (66KB)
2010 Peer Review Reports Iraq and Syrıa land borders, (by Peter Karohl) (58KB)
2010 Peer Review Reports Migration (and Asylum) (By Frank Johansen) (254KB)
2010 Peer Review Reports Trabzon Airport and Seaport, eastern border with Georgia, western borders with Bulgaria and Greece (by Antti Hartikainen) (91KB)
2010 Peer Review Reports: Southern and western air and sea borders (by Iñigo Gaya van Stijn) (88KB)
2010 Peer Review Reports Asylum (and Migration) (by Gert Jan Van Holk) (215KB)
Peer Review Report on Judicial Training in Turkey by Luca PERILLI, 2014 (23KB)