POSITIVE AGENDA: TURKEY-EUROPEAN UNION RELATIONS
The new Positive Agenda aiming to give an impetus to Turkey-EU relations was launched by the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy tefan Füle and the Turkish Minister for European Affairs and Chief European Union Negotiator Egemen Bağış on the 17th May 2012 in Brussels. The “Positive Agenda” initiative aims to give a new dynamism to Turkey’s accession progress since Turkey-EU relations are undergoing a period of stagnation. Within this framework, the Positive Agenda aims to contribute to Turkey’s EU accession process especially by enhancing cooperation and by promoting reforms in Turkey in various areas such as fundamental rights, visa liberalization, mobility and migration, trade, energy, counter-terrorism or dialogue on foreign policy. Within this framework, the European Union and Turkey have agreed to establish working groups with the aim to further support and accelerate the process of alignment of Turkey with EU policies and standards under eight chapters.
These eight chapters are the following:
- Judiciary and Fundamental Rights
- Company Law
- Financial Control
- Consumer and Health Protection
- Information Society and Media
- Justice, Freedom and Security
- Right of Establishment and Freedom to Provide Services
Commissioner tefan Füle and Minister Egemen Bağış ensured that the Positive Agenda was by no means considered as an alternative to Turkey’s EU membership but to complement accession negotiations and to encourage reform process in Turkey. Concrete work started immediately after the official launch of the Positive Agenda with the gathering of the first working group on Judiciary and Fundamental Rights in May 2012.
According to 2013 Progress Report for Turkey, the Positive Agenda continued to support and complement the accession negotiations through enhanced cooperation in a number of areas of joint interest: political reforms, alignment with the acquis, dialogue on foreign policy, visas, mobility and migration, trade, energy, counter-terrorism and participation in EU programmes.
Updated: December 2013
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