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The European Union and Turkey - The conditions of accession and the challenge of future enlargement

Carlqvist, Linnea (2008)
Department of Law
Abstract
This master thesis examines different legal aspects of the enlargement of the European Union and the relations between the EU and Turkey. As a preliminary remark, it is established that only two articles of the EU-Treaty address the question of enlargement. The first one, article 49 states that the applicant country has to respect the principles set out in article 6(1), i.e. liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. In reality, these articles entail a long and complicated process, where the Commission is particularly involved. There is a difference between when an entity can qualify as a European state, a prerequisite for the acceptation of the application, and that a state later on will be... (More)
This master thesis examines different legal aspects of the enlargement of the European Union and the relations between the EU and Turkey. As a preliminary remark, it is established that only two articles of the EU-Treaty address the question of enlargement. The first one, article 49 states that the applicant country has to respect the principles set out in article 6(1), i.e. liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. In reality, these articles entail a long and complicated process, where the Commission is particularly involved. There is a difference between when an entity can qualify as a European state, a prerequisite for the acceptation of the application, and that a state later on will be accepted as a Member State. This hierarchy will be highlighted and further discussed. Compliance with the Copenhagen Criteria is of vital importance before a state is recognized as a candidate state. However, total compliance does not seem to be necessary. In connection to this, the body of EU-law, the so-called acquis communautaire, is discussed. All new Member States have to implement and comply with the acquis. The political trend within the EU is moving towards a constantly deepening cooperation. The European Union of today is more of a political Union than an economical Union, which means that a constantly evolving EU legislation renders accession to the Union increasingly difficult. The issue of human rights is of importance during the candidacy process, since it forms a part of the Copenhagen Criteria and EU legislation. The jurisprudence of the ECJ has varied during the years, but the ECHR is often mentioned as an important source of inspiration. Formally, a higher standard in this area is required from candidate states than from Member States. This might be counterbalanced if the Charter of Fundamental Rights would become a legally binding instrument. The free movement of workers is an important part of EU legislation as well. The Commission considers that transitional measures will be necessary if Turkey would join the EU, in order to prevent disturbance on the internal market. The EU has gained significant knowledge is this area after the enlargement in 2004, and it is possible that the European citizenship is a more of a challenge is this case. Institutional changes are essential before any further enlargement takes place. The Lisbon Treaty contains a few changes, mostly relating to the size of the institutions. Another interesting aspect is the fact that the Lisbon Treaty further stresses the importance of the human rights conditionality. The lack of respect for human rights is also a reoccurring problem in Turkey's negotiations for membership, even though improvements have been made during the last years. The country has an extensive record of convictions by the ECtHR. Turkey rests its current practice towards minorities on the Lausanne Treaty of 1923, which means that problems concerning the Kurdish population remain. Turkey has also been convicted for violations of the ECHR in connection with the Cyprus conflict. The conflict is an impediment for a Turkish membership of the EU, since it causes Turkey to violate its obligations under the current association agreement. The concluding remarks of this thesis establish that the candidate state's possibility to foresee any legal conditions is limited during the process of accession. The wording of the articles deliberately leave considerable space for political concerns and there is no guarantee that membership negotiations will result in full membership of the Union. This implies that the question of human rights is of considerable importance for Turkey. The human rights conditionality may be used to advocate against a Turkish membership of the EU on a political level, and what is more important in a legal context, the respect for human rights is one of very few accession conditions explicitly mentioned in the Treaties. The legal trend within the EU also implies that the ECHR and the Charter of fundamental rights will gain importance in EU-law, especially if the Lisbon Treaty enters into force. (Less)
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author
Carlqvist, Linnea
supervisor
organization
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
EG-rätt
language
English
id
1556653
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:55:20
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:55:20
@misc{1556653,
  abstract     = {This master thesis examines different legal aspects of the enlargement of the European Union and the relations between the EU and Turkey. As a preliminary remark, it is established that only two articles of the EU-Treaty address the question of enlargement. The first one, article 49 states that the applicant country has to respect the principles set out in article 6(1), i.e. liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. In reality, these articles entail a long and complicated process, where the Commission is particularly involved. There is a difference between when an entity can qualify as a European state, a prerequisite for the acceptation of the application, and that a state later on will be accepted as a Member State. This hierarchy will be highlighted and further discussed. Compliance with the Copenhagen Criteria is of vital importance before a state is recognized as a candidate state. However, total compliance does not seem to be necessary. In connection to this, the body of EU-law, the so-called acquis communautaire, is discussed. All new Member States have to implement and comply with the acquis. The political trend within the EU is moving towards a constantly deepening cooperation. The European Union of today is more of a political Union than an economical Union, which means that a constantly evolving EU legislation renders accession to the Union increasingly difficult. The issue of human rights is of importance during the candidacy process, since it forms a part of the Copenhagen Criteria and EU legislation. The jurisprudence of the ECJ has varied during the years, but the ECHR is often mentioned as an important source of inspiration. Formally, a higher standard in this area is required from candidate states than from Member States. This might be counterbalanced if the Charter of Fundamental Rights would become a legally binding instrument. The free movement of workers is an important part of EU legislation as well. The Commission considers that transitional measures will be necessary if Turkey would join the EU, in order to prevent disturbance on the internal market. The EU has gained significant knowledge is this area after the enlargement in 2004, and it is possible that the European citizenship is a more of a challenge is this case. Institutional changes are essential before any further enlargement takes place. The Lisbon Treaty contains a few changes, mostly relating to the size of the institutions. Another interesting aspect is the fact that the Lisbon Treaty further stresses the importance of the human rights conditionality. The lack of respect for human rights is also a reoccurring problem in Turkey's negotiations for membership, even though improvements have been made during the last years. The country has an extensive record of convictions by the ECtHR. Turkey rests its current practice towards minorities on the Lausanne Treaty of 1923, which means that problems concerning the Kurdish population remain. Turkey has also been convicted for violations of the ECHR in connection with the Cyprus conflict. The conflict is an impediment for a Turkish membership of the EU, since it causes Turkey to violate its obligations under the current association agreement. The concluding remarks of this thesis establish that the candidate state's possibility to foresee any legal conditions is limited during the process of accession. The wording of the articles deliberately leave considerable space for political concerns and there is no guarantee that membership negotiations will result in full membership of the Union. This implies that the question of human rights is of considerable importance for Turkey. The human rights conditionality may be used to advocate against a Turkish membership of the EU on a political level, and what is more important in a legal context, the respect for human rights is one of very few accession conditions explicitly mentioned in the Treaties. The legal trend within the EU also implies that the ECHR and the Charter of fundamental rights will gain importance in EU-law, especially if the Lisbon Treaty enters into force.},
  author       = {Carlqvist, Linnea},
  keyword      = {EG-rätt},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The European Union and Turkey - The conditions of accession and the challenge of future enlargement},
  year         = {2008},
}