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Turkey – External relations, Common Foreign and Security 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 made by Turkey in terms of alignment. However, although Turkey has made an effort to maintain a dialogue on common foreign and security policy matters, its relations with Israel have deteriorated somewhat.
EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)
In this field the Community acquis mainly comprises directly binding legislation which does not require transposition into national law. EU legislation results from the Union’s multi-lateral and bi-lateral agreements on matters of trade policy as well as from a certain number of autonomous preferential trade measures. In the fields of development and humanitarian aid, Member States must comply with the relevant EU legislation and international commitments and equip themselves with the capacities required to participate in EU policies in these sectors. Candidate countries are invited to progressively align their policies with regard to third countries, and their positions within international organisations, with the policies and positions adopted by the Union and its Member States.
The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) are based on legal acts, legally binding international agreements in particular, and on policy documents. The acquis comprises declarations, actions and policy agreements. Member States must be in a position to conduct political dialogue under the framework of the CFSP, to align with the EU’s declarations, to take part in EU action and to apply the appropriate sanctions and restrictive measures. Candidate countries are invited to progressively align with the EU’s declarations and to apply sanctions and restrictive measures if required.
EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)
Turkey has achieved a high level of alignment in the area of external relations, owing to the Customs Union. Some discrepancies still remain in areas such as the general system of preferences in terms of its geographical coverage.
Turkey's alignment with the EU's common foreign and security policyhas continued; overall Turkish alignment with CFSP declarations fell during the reporting period and Turkey did not align with EU restrictive measures on Iran, Libya or Syria. Turkey has sought dialogue and consultation with the EU on various foreign policy issues. Turkey made efforts to normalise relations with its neighbouring countries, such as Iraq, including the Kurdish regional government. No progress was made in the normalisation of ties with Armenia. Relations with Israel further deteriorated since the Gaza Flotilla incident in 2010. After the publication of the independent UN report, Turkey downgraded relations with Israel and suspended military agreements with Israel.
Turkey is continuing to contribute to CSDP and is seeking greater involvement in CSDP activities. The issue of EU-NATO cooperation, which would involve all EU Member States beyond the "Berlin plus arrangements", remains to be resolved. Turkey has not aligned itself with the EU position on membership of the Wassenaar Arrangement.
- The website of the Directorate-General for Enlargement, Enlargement Strategy & Progress Reports 2011