Turkey – Regional policy
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 highlights progress concerning regional policy, but also some failures concerning the financial management and financial control of pre-accession funds. The administrative capacities still need to be strengthened.
EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)
In the field of regional policy, the acquis essentially comprises framework regulations and implementing regulations which do not require transposition into national law. They define the rules applicable to the development, approval and implementation of the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund, which each reflect the territorial organisation of the country. These programmes are negotiated and agreed with the Commission, but their implementation is the responsibility of the Member States. When choosing and implementing projects, Member States must comply with Community legislation in general, for example in the areas of public procurement, competition and the environment. They must have a suitable institutional framework and administrative capacities to ensure that the programming, implementation, monitoring and assessment of projects are carried out in a rational and cost-effective manner with regards to management and financial control.
EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)
Some progress was made in the field of regional policy and co-ordination of structural instruments. There are delays in establishing the bodies to take over the financial management and control responsibilities of pre-accession funds in this policy area. Although the institutional administrative capacity has been improved, there is a need for further strengthening of this capacity and improved coordination between all relevant institutions in order to accelerate implementation.
- Website of the Directorate General for Enlargement: Enlargement Strategy and Progress Reports 2011