UK House of Commons - Implications for the Justice and Home Affairs area of the accession of Turkey to the European Union

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Birleşik Krallık Parlamentosu İçişleri Komitesi tarafından hazırlanan  "Implications for the Justice and Home Affairs area of the accession of Turkey to the European Union" başlıklı raporun giriş bölümünü aşağıda bulabilirsiniz.


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Introduction


Turkey and the EU

1. Turkey initially applied for full membership of the European Union in 1987 but was not designated an official 'candidate country' until 1999, although a Customs Union was established in 1995 meaning that goods may travel without customs restrictions between Turkey and the EU. Turkey is also party to 17 European human rights instruments and is subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights. Negotiations between Turkey and the EU on "chapters" of European law[1] began in 2005; however, only 13 of the 35 chapters have been opened, with just one provisionally closed. Eighteen chapters are frozen due to vetoes by Cyprus, France or the European Council as a whole, ostensibly owing to Turkey's failure to meet its Customs Union obligations fully with regard to Cyprus.


2. The Justice and Home Affairs chapter has not yet been officially opened but a 2004 European Commission report on Issues arising from Turkey's Membership Perspective highlighted some of the likely areas for negotiation. In particular the Commission noted that, while Turkey "already devotes considerable resources to border management", "many aspects of border management are not in line with EU practices". However, it also argued that accession would provide an opportunity for increased cooperation within the EU on border management, illegal migration and organised crime, including corruption, trafficking in human beings and drug trafficking. The report concluded that, despite the advantages it would bring, the accession process in the area of Justice and Home Affairs would be "complex".[2]


3. The UK Government is, like its predecessor, a staunch supporter of Turkish accession. However, support is by no means uniform across the 27 EU Member States and enthusiasm for EU membership in Turkey has also declined, as the country has turned its gaze eastwards. Whilst the EU Enlargement Commissioner, Štefan Füle, stated during the course of our inquiry that the Commission "remains committed" to the accession process,[3] Turkey is not generally expected to accede to the EU until 2020 at the earliest;[4] some commentators have cast doubt as to whether Turkey will ever join.[5]


Our inquiry

4. Scrutiny of home affairs at EU level is one of our designated key tasks. We tend to fulfil this remit by considering relevant issues where they fall within the parameter of a broader domestic inquiry, but occasionally we hold inquiries into a specific area of EU home affairs policy which we feel merits our attention. The proposed accession of Turkey to the European Union was of particular interest to us because of the fundamental challenges posed by the scale of migration through Turkey to EU Member States and of organised crime linked to Turkey.


5. The aim of our inquiry was therefore to draw to the attention of the UK Government and EU institutions the ways in which Turkish accession to the EU would affect the Justice and Home Affairs area, and to make recommendations for action to deal with some of the issues that might arise. On 25 January 2011 we published our terms of reference, which set out our intention to examine the implications for the Justice and Home Affairs area were Turkey to accede to the EU, particularly in relation to:

Legal and illegal migration flows (including whether there would be any need for transitional arrangements to be imposed by the UK on Turkish nationals);

The security of the EU's external border; and

Serious organised crime across the EU, particularly that relating to the trafficking of drugs and people.


6. We emphasised from the outset that we would not attempt to re-open the question of whether or not Turkey should be allowed to join the EU, a decision based on wider considerations than those to be examined in this inquiry. Nor did we attempt to consider the full gamut of issues included in the Justice and Home Affairs field; rather we focused on matters relating to our broad areas of interest as a Committee. During the course of our inquiry it became apparent that there were pressing issues in the current relationship between Turkey and the EU, particularly relating to migration, which we felt it appropriate to explore further and comment upon, although they were not directly relevant to the focus of our inquiry.


7. We took oral evidence in February and March 2011 from the Serious Organised Crime Agency, Europol, the Home Office, Frontex, the Centre on Migration and Policy Studies at Oxford University, the Turkish Ambassador to the UK and the Poppy Project. We received 12 written submissions. Our Report is also informed to a significant extent by the two visits we undertook, to Turkey between 27 February and 2 March and to Greece between 7 and 9 June, where we met representatives of the respective Governments, Parliaments, law enforcement agencies and NGOs, and visited both sides of the land border. We thank all those who contributed to our inquiry.


  1. Under this process, accession candidates are required to demonstrate that their laws and administrative capacity will allow the state to execute European legislation.
  2. European Commission, Commission Staff Working Document, Issues arising from Turkey's Membership Perspective, 2004, pp 41-5
  3. Commissioner Štefan Füle's address to the European Parliament, 8 March 2011, http://europa.eu
  4. The proposed EU budget for 2014-2020 makes no mention of Turkey.
  5. See, for example, "A fading European dream: will Turkey ever join the EU?" The Economist, 21 October 2010; Katinka Barysch, Turkey and the EU: can stalemate be avoided? Centre for European Reform, December 2010

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