- European Union-Turkey Customs Union
On 31 December 1995 the customs union between
Turkeyand the European Unioncame into effect. Goods can travel between the two entities without any customs restrictions. The Customs Union does not cover essential economic areas, such as agriculture, to which bilateral trade concessions apply, services or public procurement. The EU-Turkey Customs Union is one of the steps towards full Turkish membership of the European Union itself.
Full European Union membership
Turkey has been an associate member of the
European Community(EC) since 1964, following the signing in 1963 of the Ankara Agreement (EEC-Turkey Association Agreement (1963)) with the EEC, and it has always been Turkey's desire to become a full member of the European Community. Turkey applied for full membership in 1987.
The decision to consider Turkey's application was deferred until 1993, because the European Community was in the process of becoming the even (politically and economically) tighter
European Union. The fall of the Soviet Unionand German reunificationdelayed the decision on Turkish membership even more. During those years the European Community had also become reluctant to consider Turkey's application, because a majority of the member States of the European Community objected to full Turkish membership for economic, social, and political reasons.
At the Helsinki summit in December 1999 Turkey was finally given the status of a candidate country. At the end of 2004, the
European Commissionhas issued a report with positive recommendations to the European Council, indicating the degree of compliance by Turkey of the Copenhagen political criteria. On this basis, the European Councilhas decided to start accession negotiations with Turkey on 3 October 2005.
Euro-Mediterranean free trade area
Finally, Turkey is also member of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership and as such should conclude
free trade agreements with all other Mediterranean partners, with a view to the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean free trade areain 2010
* EU Customs Unions with Andorra and San Marino
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