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Turkey - Agriculture, fisheries and food safety
Candidate countries conduct negotiations with the European Union (EU) in order to prepare themselves for accession. The accession negotiations cover the adoption and implementation of European legislation (acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.
Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1201 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The 2011 Report notes progress on agricultural and rural development matters. The European Commission believes that the country is ready to move to the second phase of the Instrument for pre-Accession Assistance in Rural Development (IPARD) programme. Food security and veterinary and phytosanitary policy are also progressing, as is the fisheries policy. However, animal welfare still needs to be improved.
EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)
The agriculture chapter covers a large number of binding rules, many of which are directly applicable. The proper application of these rules and their effective enforcement by an efficient public administration are essential for the functioning of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The CAP includes the setting-up of management and control systems such as a paying agency and the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS), and also the capacity to implement rural development measures. EU accession requires integration into the common market organisations for a range of agricultural products, including arable crops, sugar, animal products and specialised crops. Member States must also be able to apply EU legislation on direct aid for farmers and to manage the common market organisations for various agricultural products.
The fisheries acquis consists of regulations, which do not need to be transposed into national legislation. However, it requires the introduction of measures to prepare the administration and operators for participation in the Common Fisheries Policy (in the areas of market policy, resource and fleet management, inspection and control, structural actions and State aid). In some cases, existing fisheries agreements or conventions with third countries or international organisations need to be adapted.
This chapter covers detailed rules in the area of food safety. The general foodstuffs policy sets hygiene rules for foodstuff production. Furthermore, the acquis provides detailed rules in the veterinary field, which are essential for safeguarding animal health, animal welfare and safety of food of animal origin in the internal market. In the phytosanitary field, EU rules cover issues such as quality of seed, plant protection material, harmful organisms and animal nutrition.
EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)
There is some progress to report in the area of agriculture and rural development. Significant progress has been made in the implementation of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance for Rural Development (IPARD) programme, leading to the Commission Decision to confer the management of EU funds, as well as in preparations achieved for the second phase of the IPARD programme. Agricultural support policy differs substantially from the CAP and there is still no strategy for its alignment. The failure to fully remove barriers to beef imports also constitutes a major shortcoming.
As regards food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy, progress towards transposition and implementation of the acquis has been achieved. The restructuring of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs is a positive step towards strengthening the official control system. The overall control system is still not fully in line with the EU acquis. Considerable effort is needed in the area of animal health and in bringing agri-food establishments into compliance with the EU hygiene and structural requirements.
In fisheries, some progress can be reported overall. In particular some progress has been made on setting up administrative structures as well as on resource and fleet management. Turkey is expected to make further progress in other areas such as inspections and controls.
- Website of the Directorate General for Enlargement: Enlargement Strategy and Progress Reports 2011