Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New Accession Partnership Document

The European Commission has released Turkey's latest Accession Partnership Document (see Jan. 19 post). The APD defines the parameters of Turkey's Accession Partnership Agreement and lists the many areas in which reform is required if Turkey is to be considered for membership. Although the Commission decided in October 2004 to recommend the commencement of accession talks, thereby opening chapters of the acquis for negotiation, the Commission stressed that Turkey would be monitored by EU authorities throughout the accession process. The European Council decision in December 2004 to commence accession talks in accord with the Commission's recommendation made clear that negotiations would be open-ended and that no end could be guaranteed.

So far, Turkey has opened and closed only one chapter of the acquis (science and technology policy) while five others remain open. Further chapters cannot be closed until Turkey implements the additional protocol of the Ankara Agreement. The additional protocol expands the conditions of the Customs Union to all EU member states, thereby allowing Cypriot ships to access its ports. Further, eight of the chapters pertaining to trade and commerce will not be opened until Turkey implements the additional protocol.

No comments: