EU/Türkei — Ninth meeting of the Accession Conference at Ministerial level with Turkey

Brus­sels, 30 June 2010
The ninth meet­ing of the Inter­gov­ern­men­tal Con­fer­ence with Turkey at Min­is­te­r­i­al lev­el was held today in Brus­sels, fol­low­ing the start of the nego­ti­a­tions on 3 Octo­ber 2005. The Euro­pean Union del­e­ga­tion was head­ed by Miguel Ángel Morati­nos, Spain’s Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs. The Turk­ish del­e­ga­tion was led by Ahmet Davu­toğlu, Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs, Ege­men Bağıs, Min­is­ter of State for EU Affairs and Chief Nego­tia­tor and Mehmet Meh­di Eker, Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture and Rur­al Affairs.

The aim of the Con­fer­ence was to open nego­ti­a­tions on Chap­ter 12 — Food safe­ty, vet­eri­nary and phy­tosan­i­tary pol­i­cy, thus advanc­ing fur­ther the nego­ti­at­ing process. This chap­ter cov­ers core areas of the inter­nal mar­ket, is impor­tant for food safe­ty, for the pro­tec­tion of health and ani­mal wel­fare, and is of cru­cial impor­tance for Turkey’s prepa­ra­tions in imple­ment­ing Euro­pean poli­cies.

For this chap­ter, and on the basis of the nego­ti­at­ing posi­tions, the Union has close­ly exam­ined Turkey’s gen­er­al state of pre­pared­ness. Tak­ing into account Turkey’s present state of prepa­ra­tions, and in line with the Coun­cil con­clu­sions on 11 Decem­ber 2006 — as well as on the under­stand­ing that Turkey will con­tin­ue to make progress in the align­ment with and imple­men­ta­tion of the acquis — the EU under­lined main issues regard­ing the clos­ing bench­marks to be met by Turkey, name­ly that:

– Turkey has ful­filled its oblig­a­tion of full non-dis­crim­i­na­to­ry imple­men­ta­tion of the Addi­tion­al Pro­to­col to the Asso­ci­a­tion Agree­ment.

– Turkey imple­ments sys­tems for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and reg­is­tra­tion of ani­mals that are com­pli­ant with the EU acquis and ful­ly oper­a­tional, includ­ing through imple­ment­ing its com­mit­ments made in view of meet­ing the rel­e­vant open­ing bench­mark.

Turkey sub­mits an approved nation­al pro­gramme for the upgrad­ing of estab­lish­ments for prod­ucts of ani­mal ori­gin, includ­ing estab­lish­ments for ani­mal by-prod­ucts. This pro­gramme must include a pre­cise plan for the mon­i­tor­ing by the Turk­ish author­i­ties of the process of upgrad­ing estab­lish­ments. As regards the milk sec­tor, the nation­al pro­gramme must include a strat­e­gy for the use of non­com­pli­ant raw milk. Turkey must also demon­strate suf­fi­cient progress in the imple­men­ta­tion of this nation­al pro­gramme. Fur­ther­more, Turkey demon­strates that it has devot­ed suf­fi­cient human and finan­cial resources for mon­i­tor­ing the process of upgrad­ing the estab­lish­ments cov­ered by the nation­al pro­gramme.

– Turkey ful­fils its oblig­a­tions relat­ed to ani­mal dis­ease noti­fi­ca­tion, ensur­ing sat­is­fac­to­ry coop­er­a­tion with the EU Mem­ber States, imple­ments sur­veil­lance and con­trol mea­sures for ani­mal dis­eases noti­fi­able to the EU and con­tin­gency plans for major epi­zoot­ic dis­eases as pro­vid­ed for under the acquis and ful­ly applies the acquis in the area of Foot and Mouth Dis­ease (FMD) by imple­ment­ing a detailed erad­i­ca­tion plan estab­lished in advance.

– Turkey has trans­posed and imple­ments an effec­tive sys­tem for the con­trol of Trans­mis­si­ble Spongi­form Encephalopathies (TSEs): total feed ban, con­trol of spec­i­fied risk mate­ri­als, TSEs test­ings.

– Turkey has trans­posed the EU ani­mal wel­fare leg­is­la­tion and ensured that the sec­tor is aware and pre­pared, suf­fi­cient­ly in advance, for effec­tive imple­men­ta­tion at the lat­est by acces­sion.

– Turkey con­tin­ues to set up and devel­op, in accor­dance with the acquis, the rel­e­vant admin­is­tra­tive struc­tures, in par­tic­u­lar in order to imple­ment a ful­ly EUcom­pli­ant sys­tem for all rel­e­vant offi­cial con­trols, in par­tic­u­lar oper­a­tional Bor­der Inspec­tion Posts, includ­ing the fund­ing of this sys­tem; Turkey fur­ther increas­es its admin­is­tra­tive capac­i­ties and infra­struc­tures; Turkey demon­strates that it will have suf­fi­cient admin­is­tra­tive capac­i­ty to cor­rect­ly imple­ment and apply all the acquis cov­ered by this chap­ter by acces­sion.

In more gen­er­al terms, the EU also under­lined that it would devote par­tic­u­lar atten­tion to mon­i­tor­ing all spe­cif­ic issues men­tioned in its com­mon posi­tion with a view to ensur­ing Turkey’s admin­is­tra­tive capac­i­ty, in par­tic­u­lar with regard to its con­trol capac­i­ty as well as its capac­i­ty to imple­ment sys­tems for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and reg­is­tra­tion of ani­mals.

With regard to Turkey’s requests for tran­si­tion­al peri­ods, the EU recalled its gen­er­al nego­ti­at­ing posi­tion, name­ly that such mea­sures should be excep­tion­al and lim­it­ed in time and scope, and that they must not involve amend­ments to the rules or poli­cies of the EU, dis­rupt their prop­er func­tion­ing, or lead to sig­nif­i­cant dis­tor­tion of com­pe­ti­tion.

In addi­tion to all the infor­ma­tion the EU may require for the nego­ti­a­tions in this chap­ter and which is to be pro­vid­ed to the Con­fer­ence, the EU invit­ed Turkey to pro­vide reg­u­lar­ly detailed writ­ten infor­ma­tion to the Asso­ci­a­tion Coun­cil on progress in the imple­men­ta­tion of the acquis. More­over, Turkey indi­cat­ed that since the acces­sion date can­not be fore­seen at this stage, tran­si­tion­al peri­od requests would be deter­mined with­in the frame­work of the date set and progress achieved in the con­text of the over­all nego­ti­a­tions. Turkey will there­fore need to sub­mit an updat­ed Nego­ti­at­ing Posi­tion at a lat­er stage. The EU will revis­it its Com­mon Posi­tion to incor­po­rate new ele­ments stem­ming from the updat­ed Turk­ish Nego­ti­at­ing Posi­tion and to take into account devel­op­ments in the acquis.

Since the start of the nego­ti­a­tions, thir­teen chap­ters have been opened, of which one has been pro­vi­sion­al­ly closed.

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union