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Joint Declaration on Turkey-Greece Cooperation in EU Matters Ankara, April 6, 2001

 

After the Helsinki European Council where Turkey's candidacy was recognized, Greece and Turkey initiated a cooperation in the framework of the EU, upon the proposal extended by Greece. The two Parties considered such cooperation as a useful instrument for speeding up Turkey's accession process to the EU as well as for improving the state of relations between the two countries.

The first Turkey-Greece EU Committee meeting took place on 28 February 2000, in Ankara between the relevant officials from both Foreign Ministries. Broad lines in the fields of bilateral cooperation vis-à-vis the EU were laid down.

After the first meeting, ways and means of cooperation, target groups and content of the training seminars were identified according to the needs of the relevant institutions.

Specific project proposals were discussed and considerable ground has already been covered in realising them.

The following demonstrates the concrete results;

- Two seminars on customs and financial issues for the Turkish authorities of the Ministry of Finance and the Undersecretariat for Customs were held; one in Athens in July 2000, and the other one in Ankara between 30 January-3 February 2001.

- A seminar on judicial cooperation was held in Ankara on 5-6 October 2000, where discussion on basic EU law and relations between national legislation and Community law was realized. Another seminar will take place this month in Greece.

- A seminar on agricultural matters for Turkish authorities of the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade was held in Crete on 30 October-4 November 2000.

- A seminar on police cooperation including Schengen, EUROPOL and Sirene matters was realized in Athens for Turkish authorities from the General Directorate for Security and the General Command of Gendermarie on 19-20 March 2001.

These seminars were prepared jointly within the framework of Co-operation between Turkey and Greece on EU matters. Furthermore, cooperation on environment issues, other sectors of the Community acquis, as well as cooperation between universities is envisaged. In addition to the benefits of sharing Greece's experience during its accession and beyond, these seminars have helped to strengthen the understanding between the relevant Turkish and Greek authorities.

Beyond these technical issues, the Turkey-Greece EU Committee has taken up other long term matters such as the enlargement of the EU, the Intergovernmental Conference, EUROMED Process.

Both sides look forward to continuing this dialogue which will be mutually beneficial.