Press Release Regarding The Progress Report Of The European Commission (Unofficial translation) October 13, 1999

In line with the conclusions of the European Council in Cardiff, the European Commission started preparing Progress Reports on candidate countries last year. The second Progress Report has been made public by Commission President Mr. Prodi in Brussels today. In this Report, Turkey has been officially recognized as a candidate country.

The Commission has offered a concrete pre-accession strategy to Turkey in order to prepare her for full membership to the EU, as was done for the other candidates at the Luxembourg European Council in 1997. For this Partnership, the following actions are mentioned:

  • Enhancing political dialogue and providing the option of association with the common positions and actions taken under the Common Foreign and Security Policy,
  • Coordinating all sources of EU financial assistance for pre-accession within a single framework,
  • The possibility of full participation in all Community programs and agencies,
  • Adopting an Accession Partnership combined with a National Programme for the adoption of the Acquis,
  • Establishing mechanisms similar to those which operate under the Europe Agreements to monitor implementation of the Accession Partnership,
  • With a view to harmonizing Turkey's legislation and practice, beginning a process of analytical examination of the acquis,

These elements have clearly demonstrated that Turkey is considered by the Commission as an official candidate, like the other candidates.

The endorsement of all these EU Commission proposals at the Helsinki European Council, in other words, Turkey's recognition as an official candidate with all its inherent modalities, will initiate a new phase in Turkey-EU relations.