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Eu Turkey Association Agreement 1963

The EU-Turkey Association Agreement of 1963: Understanding Its Significance

The EU-Turkey Association Agreement was signed in 1963, giving Turkey access to the European Common Market and setting the foundation for modern-day EU-Turkey relations. Over the years, the agreement has undergone modifications and additions. However, it still remains a vital instrument in shaping the political and economic ties between Turkey and the EU.

The association agreement came at a time when Turkey was seeking closer ties with Western Europe and an end to its isolation. The agreement was a stepping stone for Turkey to modernize its economy, adopt European standards and norms, and promote democracy and human rights. On the other hand, the EU saw Turkey as a potential partner in the East, a secular and democratic Muslim country that could bridge the continent culturally and politically.

The main pillar of the association agreement was the establishment of a Customs Union between Turkey and the EU. This enabled Turkish goods to enter the European market without customs duties or quotas, while European goods enjoyed a similar treatment in Turkey. The Customs Union came into effect in 1996, and since then, bilateral trade has flourished, and Turkey has become the EU`s sixth-largest trading partner.

Another critical aspect of the association agreement was the creation of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), which served as a forum for political dialogue and cooperation. The JPC met regularly to discuss issues of mutual interest, such as human rights, terrorism, and migration. The JPC also played a role in monitoring Turkey`s progress towards meeting the conditions for EU membership.

Since the signing of the association agreement, Turkey has undergone significant political and economic transformations. The country has held several elections, adopted a new constitution, and implemented market-oriented economic policies. However, Turkey`s EU membership negotiations have been marked by challenges and setbacks. The EU has raised concerns about Turkey`s human rights record, the rule of law, and the independence of the judiciary, among others. Turkey, for its part, has criticized the EU for its lack of support in dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis and has accused some member states of harboring Kurdish separatist groups.

Despite these challenges, the association agreement continues to be a crucial reference point for EU-Turkey relations. In 2016, the EU and Turkey signed a statement aimed at reinvigorating the relationship, focusing on areas such as migration, energy, and the fight against terrorism. Moreover, the EU has maintained its support for Turkey`s accession to the EU, provided that it fulfills the necessary conditions.

In conclusion, the EU-Turkey Association Agreement of 1963 remains a landmark instrument in EU-Turkey relations. Over the years, the agreement has played a crucial role in promoting economic integration and political dialogue between Turkey and the EU. While the challenges facing the relationship are significant, the association agreement offers a robust framework for addressing them and moving towards a more cooperative and constructive partnership.

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