The Helsinki European Council of December 1999 granted the status of candidate country to Turkey. European Council of December 2004 confirmed that Turkey fulfills the Copenhagen political criteria which are a prerequisite for opening of the accession negotiations with Turkey.
As agreed at the European Council in December 2004, accession negotiations have been launched on October 3, 2005 with the adoption of the Negotiation Framework by the Council of the European Union. "Negotiation Framework Document" takes account of the experience of fifth enlargement process and of the evolving acquis. The framework includes the principles governing the negotiations, the substance of negotiations, negotiating procedures and list of negotiation chapter headings
This document consists of three fundamental elements on which the negotiations will carry out.
1- Fulfilling the Copenhagen political criteria with no exceptions and assimilating and speeding up the political reforms,
2- Undertaking and applying the EU acquis,
3- Establishing and strengthening the dialogue with civil society and in this regard undertake a communication strategy aimed at both the European and the Turkish public.
The conditions and timing of the candidate's adoption, implementation and enforcement of all current EU rules (the "acquis").
These rules are divided into 35 different policy fields (chapters), such as transport, energy, environment, etc., each of which is negotiated separately.
They are not negotiable:
Other issues discussed:
Throughout the negotiations, the Commission monitors the candidate's progress in applying EU legislation and meeting its other commitments, including any benchmark requirements.
This gives the candidate additional guidance as it assumes the responsibilities of membership, as well as an assurance to current members that the candidate is meeting the conditions for joining.
The Commission also keeps the EU Council and European Parliament informed throughout the process, through regular reports, strategy papers, and clarifications on conditions for further progress.