The EU opened membership negotiations with Turkey on 3rd October 2005. This was done by adopting a negotiating framework for this candidate country.
The first stage of negotiations started immediately with the screening process. Screening meetings were completed in October 2006. Following this, the Commission prepared screening reports for each chapter.
The first chapter to be negotiated, Chapter 25 - Science and Research, was opened and provisionally closed on 12th June 2006.
In November 2006, the European Union expressed concern over restrictions to the free movement of goods, including restrictions on means of transport to which Turkey had committed by signing the Additional Protocol to the Ankara Agreement.
With no solution found, the European Council decided on 14-15 December 2006 to suspend negotiations on eight chapters relevant to Turkey's restrictions with regard to the Republic of Cyprus:
- Chapter 1 Free movement of goods
- Chapter 3 Right of establishment and freedom to provide services
- Chapter 9 Financial services
- Chapter 11 Agriculture and rural development
- Chapter 13 Fisheries
- Chapter 14 Transport policy
- Chapter 29 Customs union
- Chapter 30 External relations
It was also decided that no chapter would be provisionally closed until Turkey fulfils its commitments under the additional protocol to the EU-Turkey association agreement.
However, this did not mean that the process of negotiations was blocked. As of January 2007, the negotiations were back on the track on the chapters that were not suspended. To date, 16 chapters have been under negotiations, as the table below shows it.