As part of the partnership relation between European Union (EU) and Turkey commencing with Ankara Agreement of 1964, Customs Union between EU Association and Turkey has been realized as from 1.1.1996 with Turkey-EU Association Council Decisions No. 1/95.
With the recognition of candidate status in 1999 Helsinki Summit and the initiation of the EU association negotiations as from October 3, 2005 Turkey-EU Relations gained a new dimension on the basis of accession period. Within that period, the harmonization efforts to the EU regulation on judicial, administrative, economic, social fields have become crucial and of top priority.
As the negotiation process on EU full membership was initiated, “screening process”, which is the first stage of this process and vital for guiding the negotiations, concluded on October 13, 2006. In this context, our Ministry participated in 14 screening processes with other relevant institutions; and 28 delegations consisting of a sufficient number of representatives were assigned in Brussels between January 16, 2006 and October 4, 2006. During the screening process, the following chapters have been discussed: 1-Free Movement of Goods, 7-Intellectual Property Rights, 12- Food Safety, Veterinary and Phytosanitary, 13-Fisheries, 14-Transport Policy, 16-Taxation, 18-Statistics, 21-Trans-European Networks, 24-Justice, Freedom and Security, 27-Environment and Climate Change, 29-Customs Union, 30-External Relations, 32-Financial Control, 33-Financial and Budgetary Provisions.
Apart from these, Negotiation Working Groups have been constituted within the Ministry for the 11 chapters with an aim an of ensuring an efficient and productive negotiation process,. These groups are:
Justice, Freedom and Security
Intellectual Property Rights
Free Movement of Goods
Right of Establishment and Freedom to Provide Services
Consumer and Health Protection
Agriculture and Rural Development
Enterprise and Industry Policy
Information Society and Media
Besides, the National Program, which is prepared by the candidate countries in response to the Accession Partnership Document adopted by European Commission, was constituted by Turkey in 2001, 2003, 2008 and the Ministry provided the necessary contributions in relevant chapters.
Furthermore, in substitution for the 2008 National Program which was outdated in 2014, the National Action Plan for the EU Accession, the main reference document in the harmonization process, has been adopted. In this plan; issues regarding administrative capacity and implementation, and the primary and secondary legislation alignment schedule, which will contain opening and closing criteria for chapters, are of top priority. In this context, 11 chapters out of 35 are relevant to the Ministry and the Ministry has contributed to the National Action Plan for the EU Accession Phase I (November 2014-June 2015) and Phase II (June 2015-June 2019) regarding these 11 chapters.
-Full text of 2014 Regular Progress Report for Turkey: