- The overall context
- Progress by the candidate countries in
meeting the membership criteria
- Making a success of enlargement
I. The overallcontext
Over almost half a century, the European Union has helped put
an end to the conflicts of the past and to strengthening peace,
security, justice and well being throughout Europe. Since the
invitation to the candidate countries to become part of the European
Union, the enlargement process has contributed decisively to achieving
political stability, economic progress and social justice. Stable
institutions, changes of government on the basis of free and democratic
elections, reinforced protection of human rights, including rights
of minorities, and market economy principles are now common features.
The enlargement process makes Europe a safer place for its citizens
and contributes to conflict prevention and control in the wider
Enlargement will benefit not only existing and new Member States
but also neighbouring countries, with which the European Union
has close ties. No new dividing lines will be drawn across our
continent. Each new Member State will bring to the EU its own
political, economic, cultural, historical and geographical heritage,
thus enriching Europe as a whole.
A strong and united Europe is more important than ever before,
against the background of the terrorist attacks of 11 September
and subsequent developments. The candidates for European Union
membership have aligned themselves with the EU’s condemnation
of terrorism and associated themselves immediately and fully with
the Conclusions and Plan of Action of the extraordinary European
Council on 21 September 2001.
The Commission renews its commitment to making a success of enlargement.
This will enhance security and stability not only in Europe but
also in neighbouring regions and further afield. The next year
will be crucial for the successful completion of the ongoing accession
negotiations and for the candidates’ preparations for membership.
This year’s progress reports and proposals for revised
Accession Partnerships identify the areas where further efforts
are most needed. Together with the road map, set out by the Commission
last November and endorsed by successive European Councils, these
provide a guide to the successful completion of the accession
process with the countries concerned. The Commission will give
its evaluation of the readiness of each candidate to assume the
rights and obligations of membership in next year’s progress
reports. Provided their efforts are sustained, it should be possible
to conclude the accession negotiations by the end of 2002 with
those countries which fulfil the accession criteria. On this basis
these countries would be ready to become members of the EU in
2004, in accordance with the objective set out by the European
Parliament and by the European Council.
The principles for this process remain unchanged. The Berlin
European Council has set out a clear framework for the financial
aspects of enlargement. This framework provides a sufficient basis
for the accession of up to ten new Member States in 2004. The
European Council of Nice has defined the framework for the institutional
reform necessary for enlargement. Negotiations are conducted on
the basis of the existing acquis, applying the principles
of own merits and catching-up, and will be concluded with those
candidates that fulfil the criteria for membership. These are
the necessary and sufficient conditions defined at the outset
for accomplishing the first accessions. Any discussions within
the European Union on the reform of policies or institutions should
be clearly separated and not hinder or slow down the accession
The pace of the negotiations with each candidate reflects, above
all, the pace of its own preparations for membership. The application
of the principle of differentiation based on each candidate country’s
own merit, together with the vigorous pursuit of preparations
for membership backed up by the EU’s pre-accession instruments,
is also enabling candidates which began negotiations at a later
stage to catch up. The enlargement strategy now in place provides
a sound basis for completing the negotiations, on schedule, with
the candidates that are sufficiently prepared.
The conditions for membership, set out by the Copenhagen European
Council in 1993 and further detailed by subsequent European Councils,
provide the benchmarks for assessing each candidate’s progress.
These conditions remain valid today and there is no question of
modifying them. In the present phase of the accession process,
however, it is necessary to focus as much on the candidates’
capacity to implement and enforce the acquis as on its
transposition into law. For this reason, particular attention
is now being given to the candidates’ administrative and
judicial capacity. By means of an action plan, the Commission
will increase support for institution building and monitor closely
the fulfilment of undertakings made in the negotiations and the
achievement of priorities set out in the Accession Partnerships.
The European Union will continue to lend its full support to
the preparations for membership by candidates that are not in
a position to complete negotiations within the timetable indicated
above. Negotiations will be pursued with them, on the basis of
the principles that have guided the accession process from the
beginning. In its 2002 Enlargement Strategy Paper, the Commission
will set out an updated road map, and, if necessary, a revised
pre-accession strategy, for such candidates, taking into account
the progress made in the next year and the conclusions of the
Göteborg European Council.
To intensify preparations for enlargement, candidate countries
are being increasinglyassociated with EU programmes and activities.
Pre-accession economic programmes have been designed bearing in
mind the requirements for economic and monetary union and national
employment strategies are being developed. The Göteborg European
Council conclusions invited the candidate countries to translate
the Union’s economic, social and environmental objectives
into their national policies. The candidate countries should be
associated as far as possible to the Lisbon process, which focuses
on the strategic goal for the Union to develop a sustainable,
highly competitive, knowledge-based economy.
Co-operation in justice and home affairs will become increasingly
important, both in view of the fight against terrorism and organised
crime and the longer-term discussions on the possible creation
of common border control arrangements. The Schengen system will
apply to all new Member States. Full participation in it will
be based on a two-step process. The new Member States will first
need to achieve a high level of external border control upon accession
whereas the lifting of internal border controls with current Member
States will take place only at a later stage, subject to a separate
decision by the Council.
Joining the European Union is not identical with joining the
euro. Whereas participation in the single currency is part of
the acquis, candidate countries will have to conform to
the convergence criteria for participation in the euro. This will
be decided at a later stage, after accession, following assessment
of the achievement of a high degree of sustainable convergence,
as was the case for the initial participants in the euro zone.
The first priority for each candidate must, however, now be to
comply with the Copenhagen economic criteria.
Candidate countries will be increasingly involved in the discussion
of the future of Europe including the Convention, which will prepare
the way for the next Intergovernmental Conference. The work of
the Convention and the IGC is capital for the future of Europe;
it does not, however, constitute a new condition for enlargement.
As the debate on Europe’s future advances and the date
for enlargement nears, citizens in existing and future Member
States will increasingly wish to understand the likely effects
of enlargement. The Commission, working closely with the European
Parliament, is ready to respond to this demand and to back up
the efforts of political leaders in the countries concerned to
explain to the public the issues involved.
It would be an inspiration for Europe as a whole, and for the
world at large, if the whole of Cyprus was able to enter the European
Union together on the basis of a settlement taking into account
the interests and concerns of the respective parties. It is disappointing
that the Turkish Cypriot leadership is not presently engaged in
the process conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.
All parties concerned should take full advantage of the window
of opportunity before the completion of the accession negotiations
to achieve a settlement. If, however, a settlement has not been
reached by the completion of the accession negotiations, the Council
will take its decision on accession, without this being a pre-condition,
in accordance with the Helsinki European Council conclusions.
The Helsinki European Council concluded that Turkey is a candidate
whose application will be judged on the basis of the same criteria
as applied to other candidate countries. The pre-accession strategy,
called for in those conclusions, is now well underway. The Commission
welcomes the political and economic reforms which have been initiated.
Turkey needs to ensure that these reforms are effective, especially
with respect to the protection of human rights, and to contribute
actively to efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem and the differences
that have arisen over the European Security and Defence Policy.
The forthcoming enlargement of the European Union is being thoroughly
prepared by means of the strategy set out in this document. It
is founded on clear principles, which have been enunciated by
successive European Councils, and on a transparent and objective
method set out by the Commission in Agenda 2000 and applied each
year in its Progress Reports. The present document, and the accompanying
Reports, provide an analysis of the stage reached in the enlargement
process in Autumn 2001 and point the way to ensuring that the
next and decisive phase of the process is successful.
2. Public opinion and enlargement
In preparing the present round of enlargement, political and
economic leaders in the European Union need to engage in a dialogue
with the public about enlargement, and to contribute to the discussion
of the Union in the candidate countries.
Opinion polls, and Eurobarometer, show that in the existing Union
information and understanding about the implications of enlargement
need to be improved. In the candidate countries, public support
for accession is generally high, but can vary as a result of different
factors, including developments in the accession negotiations.
In May 2000 the Commission launched a communication strategy
to make available information about the enlargement process. To
succeed, it requires that the European institutions, but also
elected representatives, political leaders, governments, economic
and social partners and civil society in general participate in
The Commission is developing its communication strategy on a
decentralised basis, taking account of the particular needs and
conditions of the Member States and the candidate countries. The
Commission’s representations in the 15 Member States, and
its delegations in the 13 applicant countries, have the responsibility
for drawing up programmes adapted to needs. At the regional level,
priority is being given to regions of the existing Union bordering
the candidate countries. In developing the strategy the Commission
is working closely with the offices of the European Parliament.
The Commission will keep the Council and Parliament informed
of the results.
3. The enlargement process and neighbouring countries
When the EU enlarges it will acquire new neighbours and its relations
with them will evolve to reflect the new situation. The EU has
developed specific policies for each neighbouring region –
the Stabilisation and Association Process for the Western Balkans,
the Barcelona process for the Mediterranean and the Partnership
and Co-operation framework for Russia, Ukraine and other Newly
Independent States (NIS). These complement the close and integrated
relationship developed with the countries of European Free Trade
Agreement and the European Economic Area.
These policies foresee the creation of a free trade area encompassing
the EU and its neighbours in which democracy and respect for human
rights and the rule of law prevail.
As the EU enlarges, the range of common interests of the EU and
its new neighbours will expand. This will create new opportunities,
acting as a stimulus for growth and investment. Enlargement will
eventually create an internal market of over 500 million consumers.
It will be in the mutual interest of the EU and its new neighbours
to continue to work together to consolidate economic reform and
strengthen business by creating a transparent regulatory environment.
Progressive alignment with the rules of the EU’s internal
market and regulatory framework will facilitate trade and attract
investment in the neighbouring regions. This will bring benefits
to business in all the countries concerned.
Enlargement will also bring new challenges. It will heighten
the need for the EU and its neighbours to work closely on issues
such as justice and home affairs. The EU is likely to attract
migrants from its neighbours and will want to develop with them
ways of planning for legal migration while combating illegal migration
and trafficking in human beings. Border management will take on
increased importance with close co-operation in areas ranging
from customs and veterinary/phyto-sanitary controls to combating
organised crime and drugs trafficking.
The enlarged Union will need to deepen its relationships with
its immediate neighbours and to develop further a common approach.
The enlarged EU is likely to see an interest in linking together
common elements of the three geographic policies currently in
place. The future borders of the Union must not become a new dividing
line. A well-designed proximity policy, building on the present
policy framework, will ensure that the enlarged EU and its neighbours
deepen their common interests and activities.
a) The Western Balkans
2001 has witnessed the consolidation of democracy in the Western
Balkans region. Following the election of a new democratic leadership
in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), the countries of
the region have pushed ahead with political, economic and administrative
reforms. Progress has not been even however and a resurgence of
violence in the southern regions of the FRY and in the former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia represents a set-back in the pursuit
of peace and stability in the region. The challenge for the EU
is to respond effectively to volatility in the region while progressing
towards the goal of integration of the countries of the region
into the EU, in line with the Feira European Council conclusions.
The Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) provides a framework
within which new contractual relationships and an assistance programme
(CARDS) help each country to progress, at its own pace as potential
candidates for EU membership. Regional co-operation is critical
for the consolidation of stability and a vital component of the
EU’s commitment in Southeastern Europe. This will require
additional efforts. All the countries in the region need to be
assisted in their attempts to synchronise regional co-operation
efforts with the requirements of EU integration. The Stabilisation
and Association Process, Stability Pact and financial assistance
each play a complementary role in this respect.
b) The EFTA countries
The new Member States will accede to the Union’s agreements
with the members of the European Free Trade area (EFTA). The acceding
countries will need to apply to join the European Economic Area
(EEA), in accordance with Article 128 of the EEA Agreement. With
this in view, the Commission keeps the EFTA partners informed
of the progress of the accession negotiations.
c) The Newly Independent States
The EU is building a stronger partnership with Russia
to take mutual advantage of the benefits of enhanced co-operation
in areas such as energy, foreign policy, justice and home affairs
and environment. The Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA)
with Russia provides a basis for political dialogue and wide-ranging
co-operation including work related to Russia’s application
for WTO membership. The development of EU-Russia relations within
the PCA framework was given new momentum at the EU-Russia Summit
in October 2001 when agreement was reached on a High Level Group
to develop a concept for a Common European Economic Space.
Russia welcomes EU enlargement and expects the EU to consider
carefully its impact on Russia. Such issues are discussed in the
Partnership and Co-operation Agreement institutions with a view
to resolving any problems that might arise before enlargement.
The case of Kaliningrad has been raised in this context.
The Commission tabled a discussion paper in 2001 which examines
the impact of enlargement on Kaliningrad and which also looks
at other issues of mutual interest such as protection of the environment
in the Baltic Sea region. It is in the EU’s and Russia’s
mutual interest to ensure that Kaliningrad can gain from the beneficial
economic consequences of enlargement. Practical issues like visas
and border formalities for travel between Kaliningrad and the
rest of Russia need to be discussed with a view to finding constructive
solutions within the acquis.
The EU also has Partnership and Co-operation Agreements with
Ukraine and Moldova and is committed to helping
these two countries in their process of political and economic
transition and progressive alignment with European laws and practice.
They have both been invited to participate in the European Conference
and are active in regional and sub-regional groups involving EU
Member States, candidate countries and the countries participating
in the Stabilisation and Association Process. Belarus also
borders on the future EU but relations are limited on account
of the country’s poor record on democracy, human rights
and the rule of law.
d) The Mediterranean
EU relations with the countries of the Mediterranean take place
within the Barcelona process which brings together the EU 15 with
12 countries of the Mediterranean littoral for co-operation on
political and security matters, economic co-operation leading
to free trade, and social and cultural co-operation A series of
regional co-operation initiatives and a network of bilateral relationships
underpin this framework. Although the process is affected by the
lack of a lasting peace in the Middle East, it has been effective
in maintaining dialogue since it was established in 1995 and provides
a forum where Israel and the Arab states continue to meet.
Association agreements have entered into force between the EU
and Morocco, Tunisia, Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Such
Agreements have also been signed with Jordan and with Egypt, with
the first, at least, due to enter into force very soon. Negotiations
are proceeding with Algeria, Lebanon and Syria with a good prospect
of concluding the first two before the end of 2001. The remaining
three partners (Cyprus, Malta and Turkey) are covered by pre-existing
agreements and are themselves on the accession path. In addition,
the Barcelona process provides for the conclusion of free trade
agreements between the partners ("South-South-Agreements");
the EU has therefore strongly welcomed, and offered its support
to, the Agadir process launched on 8 Mai 2001 in which Morocco,
Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan have agreed to establish free trade
with each other.
In November 2000, the 27 foreign ministers agreed to re-invigorate
Euro-Mediterranean co-operation and set ambitious new targets
to carry forward the Barcelona process. Work has since been stepped
up. The tragic events of 11 September 2001, however, have shown
that there is a need for still closer co-operation, not least
in social, cultural and educational areas. The Barcelona process
provides an excellent framework for this purpose.
II. Progress by the candidate
countries in meeting the membership criteria
As in previous years, this year’s Regular Reports highlight
legal measures actually adopted rather than those under preparation.
The Commission has examined whether, since October 2000, announced
reforms have in fact been carried out. For each of the 29 chapters
of the European Union’s acquis, the reports analyse
the progress made by each candidate in adopting the acquis
and in ensuring its implementation and enforcement through the
necessary administrative structures. Each chapter includes not
only an assessment of progress achieved since last year’s
report, but also an assessment of overall progress.
The assessment is based initially on information provided by
the candidate countries themselves. The Commission has also drawn
upon information provided in the context of the accession
negotiations as well as in meetings held under the Association
Agreements. It has compared information from these sources with
that contained in the new National Programmes for the Adoption
of the Acquis, which were transmitted to the Commission in
the first part of 2001. The Commission has drawn on the reports
of the European Parliament, evaluations from the Member States,
the work of international organisations, in particular the Council
of Europe and OSCE, and international financial institutions,
European business associations as well as non-governmental organisations.
1. Political criteria
The Copenhagen European Council stated that "membership
requires that the candidate country has achieved stability of
institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights,
and the respect of and protection of minorities." Article
6 of the Treaty of the European Union indicates that "The
Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect
for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law."
These principles were emphasised in the Charter of Fundamental
rights of the European Union, which was proclaimed at the Nice
European Council in December 2000.
a) Overall development
In the 2000 Reports, the Commission concluded that all negotiating
countries continued to fulfil the political criteria, and that
the overall record in strengthening democratic institutions, in
respecting the rule of law and in protecting human rights had
improved since the previous year. The Commission drew attention,
however, to the need to accelerate the reform or reinforcement
of the judiciary, and to tackle the problem of corruption. Furthermore,
the Commission called for vigorous measures in fighting the growing
problem of trafficking in women and children, and emphasised the
need for sustained efforts to improve the situation of the Roma.
The Commission urged Turkey to take the necessary decisions to
translate its intentions concerning the protection of human rights
into concrete measures.
Since the last Regular Reports, the candidate countries have
continued to strengthen the functioning of their democratic systems
of government. National or local elections were held in Bulgaria,
Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Malta, Poland, and
Romania. Those elections were free and fair.
Considerable further efforts were made to ensure the independence,
transparency, accountability and effectiveness of the public administration.
In several countries the legal framework for the civil service
was reinforced, and training of civil servants and the modernisation
of the public administration continued. These efforts need to
Further progress was made in reforming and strengthening the
judicial system, as a vital element in ensuring respect for the
rule of law and in the effective enforcement of the acquis.
Several countries advanced in adopting basic legislation, strengthening
human resources and improving working conditions. Efforts in this
area need to be further stepped up, with particular attention
to ensuring the independence of the judiciary.
Previous reports identified corruption as a serious problem "exacerbated
by low salaries in the public sector and extensive use of bureaucratic
controls in the economy." This assessment remains largely
valid, although several positive developments have taken place.
In most countries anti-corruption bodies have been strengthened,
and progress has been made in legislation, in such areas as public
procurement and public access to information. Encouraging developments
in several countries as regards the reform of public administration
also contribute to the fight against corruption. Notwithstanding
these efforts, corruption, fraud and economic crime remain widespread
in many candidate countries, where they contribute to a lack of
confidence by the citizens and discredit reforms. Continued, vigorous
measures are required to tackle this problem.
In previous years, the Commission had underlined the problem
of childcare institutions in Romania. The Romanian authorities
have taken a number of legislative, administrative and financial
measures, supported by PHARE. These efforts must be continued,
so as to ensure tangible and long-lasting improvement in the living
conditions of the children and families concerned, to prevent
abuses and to address the problem of street children.
The alarming trend identified in last year's Reports as regards
the trafficking in women and children has regrettably been confirmed
this year. Several candidate countries remained countries of origin,
transit and destination, and there are no signs that the problem
is abating. Vigorous measures are required to counter this trend,
with due respect for the rights of victims.
Limited improvement can be noted in the problems surrounding
pre-trial detention in several countries. These are primarily
related to the excessive duration of the detention, lack of access
to a lawyer and, in some cases, maltreatment. These problems need
to be addressed.
Further progress was made in several countries in ensuring gender
equality, both in terms of legislation and the institutional framework.
However, further efforts are needed to promote the economic and
social equality of women. The steps taken in a number of countries
to assist victims of violence are welcome developments, which
should be accompanied by appropriate preventive measures.
As regards minorities, a number of encouraging developments can
be noted. Estonia and Latvia further progressed in the integration
of non-citizens, and continue to fulfil all OSCE recommendations
regarding citizenship and naturalisation. In both countries, due
care will need to be taken to ensure that the implementation of
existing language legislation takes place in full respect of the
principles of proportionality and justified public interest. In
several countries, further steps were taken to strengthen the
legal and institutional frameworks for the protection of minorities.
In Bulgaria, Slovakia and Romania minorities are playing an important
role in national political life
In all countries with sizeable Roma communities, national action
plans are now in place to tackle discrimination, which remains
widespread, and improve living conditions that continue to be
extremely difficult. In most cases implementation of these action
plans is underway and, in some countries, national budgetary resources
have been reinforced. PHARE funding continues to be made available
to support these actions. Further efforts are required to ensure
that the various programmes are implemented in a sustained manner,
in close co-operation with Roma representatives, and that appropriate
budgetary support is made available in all countries.
In its 2000 Report, the Commission concluded that Turkey did
not meet the Copenhagen political criteria. Despite a number of
positive developments, this assessment still remains valid and
further efforts are needed.
Turkey’s national programme for the adoption of the acquis
set the scene for a major constitutional reform package, building
on the work of the Parliament's Conciliation Commission. This
package was adopted in record time on 3 October 2001 with an overwhelming
majority, showing the Parliament’s determination to bring
Turkey closer to EU standards.
This is a significant step towards strengthening guarantees in
the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms and limiting
capital punishment. In particular, the amendments have narrowed
the grounds for introducing limitations to freedom of expression
and communication, freedom of the press and freedom of association.
Attention has now turned to the effective implementation of these
important changes. Implementing legislation is under preparation.
Despite these changes, restrictions on the exercise of fundamental
freedoms remain. The extent to which individuals in Turkey will
actually enjoy an improvement in the exercise of fundamental freedoms
will depend on the interpretation given to the constitutional
amendments, the details of implementing legislation and the practical
application of the law by the authorities.
The Commission strongly encourages Turkey to bring about substantial
improvements, not only in the constitutional provisions and the
laws concerning the protection of human rights, but above all
in the human rights situation in practice. This requires reform
of many existing structures and practices. The Commission welcomes
the fact that the moratorium on the death penalty has continued
and that constitutional reform has limited the death penalty but
reminds Turkey that capital punishment itself should be abolished
to bring Turkey into line with the principles of the European
Union. The Commission urges Turkey to ensure that particular attention
is devoted to improving significantly the situation in Southeast
The Copenhagen political criteria continue to be met by all presently
negotiating candidate countries. Turkey still does not meet these
The requirements set by the Copenhagen political criteria, and
the Commission’s regular assessment of progress achieved
in meeting them, have continued to serve as important incentives
for the candidate countries. Since the 1997 Opinions and the subsequent
Regular Reports, overall progress in consolidating and deepening
democracy and respect for the rule of law, human rights and the
rights of minorities has been considerable. Building on this progress,
the past year has generally seen further positive developments,
and the overall record in strengthening democratic institutions,
in respecting the rule of law, and protecting human rights has
However, while efforts to reform or strengthen the judiciary
are slowly starting to bear fruit, these should be further accelerated
and reinforced, in particular to ensure effective enforcement
of the acquis. The fight against corruption should be further
stepped up. Tangible results in this domain are needed to respond
to public concern and help ensure a transparent business environment.
Continued problems related to pre-trial detention in certain
countries should be addressed. The trafficking of women and children
from, through or into several candidate countries remains a serious
cause of concern, requiring vigorous measures. Further efforts
are needed in ensuring gender equality and non-discrimination.
It is also very important to sustain efforts to improve the situation
of the Roma.
Turkey should take the necessary measures to ensure that the
recent important constitutional amendments translate into concrete
progress concerning human rights.
The conclusions of each Regular Report are contained in Annex
1. The list of Human Rights conventions ratified by the candidate
countries is in Annex 4.
2. Economic criteria
a) Overall Developments
This year’s assessment of progress made by candidate countries
in meeting the Copenhagen economic criteria takes place at a time
of rapidly deteriorating global economic conditions. However over
2000, and the first half of 2001, growth in the candidate countries
was relatively strong.
The year 2000 showed the best growth performance since the introduction
of the Regular Reports. Average real GDP growth for the candidate
countries was around 5%, much above the 1999 outcome of zero growth.
The average performance of the 10 CEEC countries was 3.6%, considerably
higher than the 2.2% achieved in the previous year. Growth resumed
the in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania and Romania, and
8 countries exhibited higher rates of growth. The exceptions were
Poland and Slovenia, where growth weakened slightly, although
it remained solid at 4% for Poland and 4.6% for Slovenia. On average,
the Mediterranean candidate countries outperformed the transition
economies with real GDP growth rates of 5% for Cyprus and Malta,
and 7.2% for Turkey. By contrast, average real GDP growth for
the EU was 3.3%, indicating that catching up, although small,
was higher than in the previous years.
In the first half of 2001, with a deteriorating EU economic performance,
there has been, on average, a deceleration of GDP growth in the
candidate countries. So far, countries that have been on a higher
and more stable average growth path are more affected. Countries
just returning to more normal output growth after having been
in recessions, such as the Czech Republic and Romania, appear
to be holding better. Similarly the Baltic states that went through
a cyclical diminution of growth in 2000, seem to be withstanding
the current slowdown, partly supported by the external demand
pull of higher growth in Russia and the NIS. Poland is going through
a stronger slowdown, largely the result of a poorly co-ordinated
policy-mix combined with the deteriorating external environment
and domestic political uncertainty. Turkey’s growth performance
has turned sharply negative. Two deep financial crises occurred
at the end of 2000 and the beginning of 2001, taking their toll
on GDP growth, but at the same time leading the government to
take much needed reform and corrective measures.
GDP per capita as a percentage of the EU average, and measured
in purchasing power standards (PPS), went up to 39% in 2000, against
38% in 1999 for the CEEC-10. For all thirteen candidate countries
it stood unchanged at the previous year’s level of 35%.
The closing of the existing large income gap is a medium to long-term
project that requires relatively higher average rates of growth
over time. Comparing the situation in 2000 with that prevailing
in 1995, 9 candidate countries have made gains over this period,
while 3 (Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Romania) have not and Turkey
remains essentially at the same level. Estonia, Latvia, Hungary,
Poland and Slovenia have made very good gains. The income distribution
has tended to become more unequal, particularly in the CEEC-10.
This outcome is to be expected, first because under the old regimes
the income distribution was rather egalitarian; secondly, because
of uneven growth pushing the demand for certain labour skills
in some areas and sectors ahead of others. However the rising
level of income should benefit many. Inequality is still lower
than in the EU.
Despite the relatively healthy overall growth factors in all
candidate countries, except Turkey, many imbalances have widened
and macroeconomic conditions across countries remain mixed.
The 2001 Regular Reports present two figures for the government
balance. One is based on the most commonly used national concept,
and the other is calculated according to the European System of
Accounts (ESA 95), which was reported by the candidate countries
for the first time this year. On average, the ESA 95 general government
deficit has deteriorated somewhat from about 3% of GDP to 3.5%.
Large one-off increases were recorded in Czech Republic and Slovakia,
due mainly to the fiscal cost of cleaning-up a number of banks,
which, under ESA 95 rules, has to be taken into account in the
general government net balance, the year it is incurred.
A number of countries are experiencing difficulties implementing
reforms which are key to medium-term fiscal sustainability. Some
non-transparent fiscal practices are returning in Hungary. Poland’s
municipal reform has not been accompanied by a realistic plan
to pay for the costs of municipal services. In some countries
the reform of social security is too timid or still at an early
stage, such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Overall, inflation rates are on the increase in many candidate
countries and the CEEC-10 average, at over 15%, is considerably
higher than last year’s of around 10%. The main immediate
cause of inflation has been the high increases in oil prices.
Particularly worrying are cases where the monetary policy framework
and the pass-through structural features are largely contributing
to inflation inertia. In this sense, there are positive developments
in Hungary and Poland, with their new exchange rate and monetary
framework while Slovenia is lagging behind. Romania and Turkey
have failed, for another year, to bring inflation under control,
but have recently adopted stabilisation programmes with the IMF.
Slovakia’s high inflation is the result of much needed,
and delayed, increases in administered prices. Bulgaria’s
rising inflation, in the context of the currency board arrangement,
needs to be closely watched.
Despite the good growth performance, unemployment in the CEEC-10,
at 12.5%, has continued to increase from just below 11%, pointing
to the still negative impact of structural labour shedding reforms
and high productivity growth. Exceptions are Hungary and Slovenia,
with declining unemployment. Participation rates are generally
stable, but remain low in some cases. Labour market rigidities
and skill mismatches are putting a lower limit to unemployment
even in high growth economies. Cyprus and Malta can be said to
be close to full employment levels.
There has been, for the CEEC-10, an improvement of the current
account deficit from 5.6% of GDP to just about 5%, in spite of
a deterioration in the terms of trade. The correction has been
substantial in Latvia and Lithuania, whose exposure had been too
high. Malta had a marked deterioration of its current account
deficit with a large one-off component. The recovery has brought
about a deterioration of the external balance in the Czech Republic,
which needs to stand ready to take corrective measures. In almost
all cases, foreign direct investment (FDI) has contributed significantly
to finance the external imbalance. The component of FDI, often
stemming from privatisation, still seems to dominate total inflows
in all candidates. Therefore, the level of external debt remains
at past year's levels, except in Turkey. Turkey, due to the sharp
depreciation of its currency caused by the financial crisis, is
in a more precarious situation as the domestic value of its relatively
large external debt has greatly increased. The level of FDI in
Turkey remains significantly below its potential.
Candidate counties, with the exception of Cyprus and Malta, are
still facing some difficulties in setting-up some elements of
the legal and institutional framework needed for the functioning
of a market economy, including enforcement of judicial decisions.
The extent of the difficulties varies from the severe case of
Romania and, to a lesser extent, Bulgaria, to countries where
there are no significant barriers to market entry and exit and
where the degree of legal certainty is high, like Estonia and
Hungary. The main problem remaining is the implementation of bankruptcy
laws. Progress in this area is crucial before accession.
Privatisation of manufacturing enterprises is almost completed
in many CEEC-10, with the exception of Romania, where the privatisation
agenda is still large, and to a lesser extent Bulgaria. Poland
still needs to devise viable privatisation and restructuring strategies
for some important traditional sectors. Privatisation strategies
have moved into sectors such as the utilities, transport and energy
and are accompanied by efforts to restructure these sectors. In
the financial sector, the bank privatisation agenda is completed
in a number of candidates such as Estonia, Hungary, Latvia and
the Czech Republic. It has advanced in Lithuania, Romania, Poland
and Slovakia and is lagging considerably behind in Slovenia. Concerning
the state-owned banks not intended for privatisation, it is important
that governments do not interfere with their operating practices
and credit policies. For other parts of the financial sector,
progress in privatisation is hesitant and uneven across candidates.
The completion of land reform with the creation of a functioning
land market lingers in many CEEC-10. This is hindering the development
of land and housing markets and of construction, with unfavourable
implications for the labour markets and financial intermediation.
Financial intermediation is still overall at a low level in
the CEEC-10 economies. The sector contributes little to the financing
of investment in what should be a growing private sector. Intermediation
is particularly low and inefficient in Bulgaria, Romania and Lithuania.
In general, further progress is needed before accession, as a
proper working of the transmission mechanism for monetary policy
would require higher levels of more efficient intermediation.
The expansion of the financial sector has been accompanied by
improved supervision in the banking sector, but supervision of
the other parts needs to improve, not only on regulations but
also on the administrative capacity and independence of supervisors.
Cumulative progress on economic integration of candidate countries
in the EU has mainly taken place through the two channels of trade
and capital flows, essentially foreign direct investment.
As to trade integration, in 2000, candidate countries on the
average, sent about 62% of their exports to the EU and 58% of
their imports came from the EU. Excluding Turkey, the shares are
about 65% for exports and 62% for imports. Each of the CEEC-10
has over the period 1995 to 2000 increased its share of exports
to the EU. Also as a group, they have increased their EU market
share. Over the past decade, the CEEC-10 region shows the fastest
growth in trade with the EU and accounted in 2000 for about 11
percent of total EU trade with third countries up from 6 percent
in 1992. In the EU, the effects are greatest in the EU Member
States closest to the region. The trade between candidate countries
remains comparably low, although it slightly increased for several
of the CEEC-10 in 2000 compared to the previous year.
As to financial integration, two thirds of net capital flows
in the 1990s originated from the EU Member States. Most net capital
inflows to the candidates have been FDI flows. Because of privatisation,
nearly half of the FDI flows have been directed to non-tradable
sectors such as financial institutions (banks) and public utilities
(e.g. telecommunications). Greenfield investments are increasing
in some countries, and for instance represent over half of FDI
in Bulgaria and dominate in Hungary. In the tradable sector, one
fifth of total FDI has occurred in relatively labour-intensive
industries such as textiles, clothing, electrical machinery and
motor vehicles. In the context of transition and real economic
convergence, FDI has, and will continue, to contribute to replace
the outdated capital stock and to introduce new technology and
The progress of each country has been assessed according to the
sub-criteria of the Copenhagen economic criteria – the existence
of a functioning market economy and the capacity to withstand
competitive pressure and market forces within the Union. These
sub-criteria were defined in the Commission Communication on Agenda
The existence of a functioning market economy requires
that prices, as well as trade, are liberalised and that an enforceable
legal system, including property rights, is in place. Macroeconomic
stability and consensus about economic policy enhance the performance
of a market economy. A well-developed financial sector and the
absence of any significant barriers to market entry and exit improve
the efficiency of the economy. The second criterion (‘capacity
to withstand competitive pressure and market forces within the
Union') depends on the existence of a market economy and a
stable macroeconomic framework, allowing economic agents to make
decisions in a climate of predictability. It also requires a sufficient
amount of human and physical capital, including infrastructure.
State enterprises need to be restructured and all enterprises
need to invest to improve their efficiency. Furthermore, the more
access enterprises have to outside finance and the more successful
they are at restructuring and innovating, the greater will be
their capacity to adapt. Overall, an economy will be better able
to take on the obligations of membership the higher the degree
of economic integration it achieves with the Union before accession.
Both the volume and the range of products traded with EU Member
States provide evidence of this.
Taking the two criteria together, it can be said that Cyprus
and Malta have confirmed that they are functioning market economies
and should be able to cope with competitive pressure and market
forces in the Union. The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia,
Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia are functioning market
economies. There are substantial economic differences among these
countries, but provided they continue with, and in some cases
reinforce, a number of differing measures detailed in each Regular
Report, they should be able to cope with competitive pressure
and market forces within the Union in the near term. Bulgaria
is close to being a functioning market economy. Provided it continues
implementing reforms and intensifies the effort to remove persistent
difficulties, it should be able to cope with competitive pressure
and market forces within the Union in the medium term. Romania
does not yet meet either criterion but has, for the first time,
made decisive progress towards this objective. Turkey has been
unable to make further progress towards achieving a functioning
market economy, notably given the recent crises. Considerable
parts of its economy are, however, already competing in the EU
market, under the framework of customs union with the EC.
The detailed conclusions on the fulfilment of each sub criterion
in each Regular Report can be found in Annex 1; main statistical
indicators in Annex 2.
3. Other obligations of membership
The Copenhagen European Council indicated that membership requires
‘the ability to take on the obligations of membership, including
adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union’.
a) Adoption, implementation and enforcement of the
The ability to take on the obligations of membership requires
the adoption, implementation and enforcement of the acquis.
The importance that candidate countries implement and enforce
the acquis was underlined by the European Council on a
number of occasions. In Madrid in 1995, the European Council highlighted
the importance of adjusting the candidate countries’ administrative
structures in order to create the conditions for their gradual
and harmonious integration. In 2000, the Feira European Council
recalled that "progress in the negotiations depends on the
incorporation by the candidate countries of the acquis
in their national legislation and especially on their capacity
to effectively implement and enforce it", by strengthening
their administrative and judicial structures. In June 2001, the
Göteborg European Council stressed again the importance that candidate
countries make continued progress in transposing, implementing
and enforcing the acquis, and that they pay particular
attention to putting in place adequate administrative structures
and to reforming their judicial systems and their civil service.
Transposing, implementing and applying the acquis is not
only a matter for government and administration, but also for
business, regional and local bodies and professional organisations.
The European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and
the Committee of Regions have called for the closer involvement
of civil society in the process. The candidate countries’
national authorities need to enhance dialogue with representative
institutions to explain the acquis and to facilitate its
b) Sector overview and conclusions
Overall this year’s Regular Reports again note significant
progress in the adoption of legislation for alignment with the
acquis in most candidate countries and for most areas.
In a number of areas such as transport, telecommunications, energy
and justice and home affairs, however, important elements of new
Community legislation have been or will be adopted shortly, in
most cases building on previous Community law.
Some countries still have difficulties in transposing parts of
the acquis. Nevertheless, despite the progress made over
the past year, the major need now consists of building up adequate
administrative structures and strengthening of administrative
capacity to implement the acquis.
For most or all of the candidate countries, the Regular Reports
and the proposed revised Accession Partnerships identify:
- in the field of the internal market, the need to establish
or reinforce horizontal administrative infrastructures related
to standardisation, accreditation, certification, conformity
assessment, market surveillance, mutual recognition of qualifications,
the supervision of financial services and to strengthen the
enforcement of industrial and intellectual property rights;
- in the field of competition, the need to develop or
strengthen enforcement capacity for state aid rules and anti-trust
- in the field of transport and energy, the need
to strengthen or set up appropriate regulatory structures (also
in view of forthcoming new acquis) and inspection arrangements,
in particular to ensure road and maritime safety;
- in the field of telecommunications and culture and
audio-visual policy the need to set-up or strengthen independent
regulatory structures, for telecommunications especially also
in view of the forthcoming new acquis;
- in the field of environment, the need to further strengthen
administrative, monitoring and enforcement capacity, in particular
in the field of waste, water and chemicals;
- in the field of social policy and employment, the need,
in particular, to ensure the enforcement of occupational health
and safety rules and to strengthen labour inspectorates;
- in the field of justice and home affairs, the overall
need to strengthen the judicial system, the need to strengthen
border management, most urgently at future EU external borders,
and to prepare for the participation in the Schengen information
system, as well as the need to ensure better co-operation of
all actors to fight organised crime;
- in the field of customs and taxation, the need
to develop IT-systems to allow for the exchange of electronic
data with the Community and its Member States and the capacity
of the tax and customs administration to enforce and control
Community legislation, including external border controls;
- in the field of agriculture, the need to upgrade inspection
arrangements according to veterinary and phyto-sanitary legislation,
in particular to ensure food safety, and the capacity to implement
and enforce the management mechanisms of the Common Agricultural
Policy, in particular the Integrated Administration and Control
System and the Paying Agency (for which, in the field of rural
development, the respective SAPARD agency may be a precursor);
- in the field of structural policy, the need to strengthen
administrative capacity in key ministries and to build up the
appropriate administrative structures for programming, managing
and controlling structural funds;
- in the field of financial control, the need to strengthen
administrative capacity for public internal financial control
and for the fight against fraud.
In a number of other areas, individual candidate countries equally
need to improve administrative capacity. This can be the case
in the chapters mentioned above, for example the need, for a number
of countries, to establish or reinforce independent supervisory
authorities for data protection, or in other chapters such as,
for instance, fisheries, statistics or economic and monetary union.
These priorities are specifically identified in each Regular Report
and taken up in the proposed revised Accession Partnerships for
each candidate country.
The Regular Reports also identify those chapters which do not
pose major difficulties of administrative capacity, either because,
in those chapters, there is little administrative capacity needed
for the implementation of the acquis, or because the countries’
preparedness can in general be considered adequate.
The conclusions of the Regular Reports, country by country, are
contained in Annex 1.
c) EMU and the EURO
Candidate countries need to prepare for participation in the
multilateral surveillance and economic policy co-ordination procedures
currently in place as part of Economic and Monetary Union. One
of the economic priorities of previous Accession Partnerships
was the establishment of an annual pre-accession fiscal surveillance
procedure. It consists of two elements: the fiscal notification
and the Pre-accession Economic Programme (PEP), which are discussed
in a multilateral setting with Member States.
The framework of exchange rate strategies for the candidate countries
has been clarified. Three successive stages in the transition
process towards adoption of the euro, namely, the pre-accession
stage, the stage following accession and the adoption of the euro
are identified. Any unilateral adoption of the single currency
by means of "euroisation" would run counter to the underlying
economic reasoning of EMU in the Treaty, which foresees the eventual
adoption of the euro as the endpoint of a structured convergence
process within a multilateral framework. Therefore, unilateral
"euroisation" would not be a way to circumvent the stages
foreseen by the Treaty for the adoption of the euro.
Regarding the ERM-II, some time after accession, new Member States
will be expected to join the ERM II. The ERM II could accommodate
the main features of a number of exchange rates regimes, provided
their commitments and objectives are credible and in line with
those of the ERM II. The only clear incompatibilities vis-ŕ-vis
the ERM II that can be identified already at this stage are fully
floating exchange rates, crawling pegs and pegs against anchors
other than the euro.
III. Making a success of enlargEment
The Göteborg European Council has set a high level of ambition.
It concluded that "provided that progress towards meeting
the accession criteria continues at an unabated pace, the road
map should make it possible to complete the accession negotiations
by the end of 2002 for those candidate countries that are ready.
The objective is that they should participate in the European
Parliament elections of 2004 as members".
Meeting these objectives will require efforts from both the Union
and the candidate countries. The Union should define common positions
within the timeframe provided by the road map. The candidate countries
must continue preparations to meet fully the accession criteria,
with particular attention to enhancing their administrative capacity
to implement the acquis. Indeed, progress in the negotiations
is based on convincing progress in adopting, implementing and
enforcing the acquis.
1. Following the road map - the remaining chapters
Considerable progress has been achieved in the negotiations.
Candidate countries have communicated their positions with respect
to the acquis under the various negotiating chapters, including
their requests for transitional measures. In many cases where
candidates have provided sufficient commitments to apply the acquis,
chapters have been provisionally closed (see Annex 6). The number
of provisional closures of chapters, however, does not always
give an accurate picture of the state of negotiations. In some
cases under negotiation, only few issues of political importance
remain; these can be solved if the necessary political decisions
The road map has proved to be useful in ensuring that all negotiating
parties commit themselves to a realistic timetable. The Commission’s
report to the European Council in Ghent has reviewed the track
record and outlined a number of issues where decisions still need
to be taken during the Belgian presidency. The paper identified
a number of issues at stake on which the EU needed to define a
position in the context of the chapters on transport, taxation,
agriculture, justice and home affairs and energy. The Commission
has in the meantime, where possible, forwarded negotiating positions
on these chapters to the Council and the Belgian Presidency is
swiftly advancing in defining negotiation positions. In the context
of the last mentioned chapter, the Communication underlined the
need to examine the positions of the candidate countries on the
EU recommendations on nuclear safety and that "concerning
non-upgradable units [of nuclear power plants] - Ignalina
(Lithuania), Bohunice-V1 (Slovakia) and certain units of Kozluduy
(Bulgaria)- closure commitments must be respected, and therefore
duly included in the Accession Treaties."
The commitment of the Union to define common positions within
a certain time frame, also in areas where there are particular
difficulties, has sent a positive signal to the candidate countries.
In doing so, the Union has shown the necessary flexibility in
taking positions that are important in terms of public acceptability,
both in the Union and in the candidate countries. This approach
should be maintained.
According to the road map for the first half of 2002, the Union
will define common positions with a view to closing provisionally
the last group of chapters: agriculture, regional policy, financial
and budgetary provisions, institutions and ‘other matters’.
The Commission will submit the necessary proposals to the Council
in good time. In preparing its proposals, the Commission will
be guided by the approach outlined below.
a) The financial framework and related chapters
The chapters of the negotiations concerning agriculture and regional
policy have important budgetary components and are related to
the chapter concerning financial and budgetary provisions. Negotiations
on these three chapters must therefore be conducted within a coherent
The Berlin European Council in March 1999 agreed the financial
framework for the period 2000-2006, including arrangements for
enlargement based on the assumption that 6 new members would accede
in 2002. The results were laid down in an inter-institutional
agreement between the Parliament, the Council and the Commission.
The comprehensive agreement reached in Berlin covered at the
same time policy reform and the reservation of the necessary funds
for pre-accession and accession, including:
- a maximum ceiling for total payments (set at 1.27% of GNP)
and absolute ceilings for annual budgetary commitments for each
category of expenditure (the Financial Perspective for the period
2000-2006). Together, the absolute ceilings were expected to
stay well below the maximum ceiling of 1.27%, including after
- the reform of the common agricultural policy, structural and
- the doubling of pre-accession support for the candidate countries
(€3.1 billion per year);
- amounts reserved for the financing of accession, gradually
increasing from € 6.5 billion in 2002 to €16.8 billion
The assumptions underlying the Berlin agreement have changed,
notably as regards possible dates for accession and the potential
number of new Member States.
However, if it is assumed that the first accessions will take
place in 2004 instead of 2002 and that more than 6 and up to 10
new Member States will join, the updated cost of enlargement in
each of the years 2004-2006 would stay below the amounts agreed
in Berlin. This takes into account updated information on agricultural
production and consumption data in the 10 candidates.
The annual amounts reserved for accession in the Financial Perspectives
increase substantially from 2002 to 2006. Since the first accessions
will take place later, the annual amounts needed for the corresponding
years are smaller than if the first accessions had taken place
in 2002. This allows the Berlin figures to accommodate a larger
number of up to 10 new Member States.
The Commission will present proposals to the Council for common
negotiation positions in the fields of agriculture, regional policy
and budgetary issues on the basis of the existing acquis and
the principles inherent in the Berlin agreement. The accession
negotiations can thus be concluded independently of decisions
for financing the EU after 2006.
The Commission will ensure that the budgetary implications of
its proposals for common negotiation positions are in line with
the expenditure ceilings agreed in Berlin for the period until
2006, incorporating the foreseen necessary adjustments for the
potential number of new Member States. In particular, the Commission
will, without prejudicing future decisions for the financing of
- in the agriculture chapter, examine how to tackle the
issues of direct payments and supply management instruments
in the negotiations;
- in the area of structural policy, identify the organisational
and institutional conditions to be met by the various countries
for provisionally closing the negotiations in this chapter as
well as explain the method for the allocation of the structural
funds to new Member States until 2006;
- as to the budget chapter, examine possible transitional
The Commission will ensure that the Council can debate these
issues in a common framework early in 2002, with a view to preparing
the further pursuit of the accession negotiations in line with
the road map.
b) Other chapters
The chapters ‘Institutions’ and ‘Other matters’
have not yet been opened with any of the candidates. Following
the road map, the Union should also define its positions on these
chapters in the first half of 2002.
The institutions chapter concerns the inclusion of new Member
States in the Union’s institutional framework. As the Union
emphasised at the opening of the accession negotiations, membership
involves both rights and obligations. The Union expects new members
to comply with the obligations of membership, subject to the conditions
agreed in the accession negotiations. The new members will exercise
their rights, on the same terms as other Member States, through
participation in the EU institutions. Traditionally, the chapter
‘Institutions’ has been handled in accession negotiations
after all the other chapters relating to the acquis.
In the present negotiations, the chapter ‘Institutions’
will be based principally on the conclusions of the Intergovernmental
Conference at Nice in December 2000, and in particular on:
- the provisions set out in the Treaty of Nice, including particularly
the dispositions for adjustment of the institutions in the perspective
- the provisions set out in the Declarations of the Intergovernmental
Conference, including particularly Declaration no. 20 on the
common positions to be adopted in the accession negotiations
in matters relating to the distribution of seats in the Parliament,
the weighting of votes in the Council, and the composition of
the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.
The conclusion of the new Treaty at Nice reaffirmed the Union’s
firm commitment to the enlargement process. It is now in the process
of ratification by the Member States. The Commission notes that
the Treaty has been ratified by three Member States and in most
other cases ratification is proceeding satisfactorily. In the
case of Ireland, following the referendum in June 2000, the Irish
government is organising a national convention to clarify the
issues related to the Treaty.
The Commission hopes that Member States will complete the process
of ratification, as planned, in the course of 2002. The Commission
will liaise with the Presidency concerning the appropriate timing
and procedure to be envisaged for the institutional chapter, taking
account of progress in the ratification of the Nice Treaty.
The final chapter of the negotiations, as in the case of previous
accession negotiations is 'Other matters'. This chapter
serves as a framework for questions not covered in the preceding
chapters – notably, problems which are not directly related
to the acquis. In the preceding accession negotiations, for example,
discussions under the chapter ‘Other matters’ led
to a number of declarations on transparency, the status of ‘certain
territories’, etc., which were subsequently annexed to the
Accession Treaty. It will become clear in the course of 2002 what
questions may need to be handled under this chapter in the present
2. Action plan for administrative and judicial capacity
Member States need an adequate level of administrative and judicial
capacity to implement and enforce the acquis. This is why
successive European Councils have insisted on institution building
in the run up to accession.
A stable public administration with an independent civil
service is a common objective for all candidate countries. Most
have made impressive efforts in the field of public administration
reform and have implemented civil service reforms. Some have taken
steps to attract good staff and to improve their quality by training
and better remuneration. Nevertheless, as reflected in the Regular
Reports much remains to be done. In addition, a number of candidate
countries need to intensify the fight against corruption.
A predictable and efficient judicial system is also essential
for the citizen and business. Work has progressed on the reform
of the judiciary in most candidate countries but in a number of
countries the strengthening of the independence of the judiciary,
the improvement of remuneration and working conditions as well
as the training of judges still need to be further pursued.
In a number of chapters related to the acquis, the major
challenges have been identified above (section II 3 b). They concern
the administrative capacity to ensure:
- First, a smooth functioning of the internal market.
This often requires appropriate and effective regulatory authorities
such as competition authorities, telecommunications, energy
or transport regulators or implementation of appropriate information
- Secondly, sustainable living conditions in the European
Union. This needs to be ensured, inter alia by assuring
application of environmental standards, imposing appropriate
levels of health and safety at the work place, ensuring a high
level of nuclear safety and improving transport safety. These
measures require a number of inspection arrangements.
- Thirdly, the overall protection of the European Union’s
citizens. This needs to be ensured, inter alia, by securing
borders for a variety of purposes, adequate market surveillance
for consumer protection, enforcing sufficient levels of food
safety and co-operation in the field of justice and home affairs.
These measures require various inspection and law enforcement
- Fourthly, the proper management of Community funds.
This requires appropriate structures in central and regional
administrations for application of public procurement rules,
financial control, audit, fight against fraud and corruption.
The Regular Reports and the proposed revised Accession Partnerships
identify in detail the areas where actions needs to be undertaken
by each candidate country in order to achieve an adequate level
of administrative capacity.
To identify the next steps, the Commission will establish an
action plan. It will analyse with each of the candidate
countries, early in 2002, their approach to implement these priorities
and, if necessary, their intentions to reinforce efforts for institution
building. Furthermore, the Commission will undertake specific
monitoring actions, where appropriate together with Member States
and the candidate countries.
The action plan will:
- be based on the priority areas identified in the revised
Accession Partnerships, the Regular Reports and commitments
made in the negotiations;
- identify actions already under way to build administrative
capacity and mobilise further means to reinforce
such efforts (using established mechanisms such as twinning
or TAIEX - see Annex 3 and 5);
- confirm or initiate monitoring mechanisms such as monitoring
reports, peer reviews etc which will ascertain the state of
preparation of each candidate country.
The action plan will, as the Regular Reports and the proposals
for revised Accession Partnerships, reflect each negotiating country’s
situation and take into account the accession dates envisaged
a) Reinforcing Institution Building Actions
Substantial Community assistance is already being provided to
the candidate countries to help them develop adequate administrative
capacity to implement and enforce the acquis. Altogether
up to two thirds of national PHARE programmes has been earmarked
for institution building and related investment. Programming has
been accelerated and national annual assistance programmes should
be adopted much earlier in 2002 than in previous years.
Moreover, the Commission will, over and above the yearly budgetary
envelope identified in 1999 for each of the 10 PHARE countries,
allocate up to € 250 million from the existing PHARE programme
to additional institution building efforts in 2002. This supplementary
institution building facility constitutes an offer to candidate
countries that should be taken up and programmed by Summer 2002.
Similar weight could, if necessary, be put on the allocation of
the pre-accession assistance for institution building in the case
of Malta and Cyprus.
The Commission will analyse with the candidate countries the
need to continue with additional institution building efforts
in the 2003 programming exercise. Institution building projects
could then, under the usual Commission rules on contracting and
disbursement, continue on the ground at least for three more years.
These efforts are supplementary to the major efforts each candidate
country is making, often assisted by PHARE and by bilateral actions
of the Member States, international organisations and international
b) Enhanced Monitoring
Monitoring actions are already underway. The Commission regularly
provides the Council with detailed monitoring tables and reports
that look at the way commitments undertaken in the framework of
negotiations have been implemented. These also concern commitments
on building up adequate administrative capacity.
The Commission does not always have the relevant expertise to
judge the readiness of the candidate countries’ administrations
since implementation is largely up to Member States. This is why
in a number of areas peer reviews have been established.
Peer reviews allow candidate countries to involve experts from
Member States and the Commission in the evaluation of administrative
capacity. Peer reviews have already started or are being considered
in the field of financial services, justice and home affairs,
budget, agriculture, nuclear safety and environment. The Commission
will provide practical support in particular through the Technical
Assistance Information Exchange Office (TAIEX) or through other
mechanisms (for example SIGMA).
The Commission will inform the Council of peer reviews or any
other relevant action to assess administrative capacity in candidate
countries by Spring 2002. This will allow the results of these
actions to be taken up in the single framework of the accession
Peer reviews are not a panacea. They complement the ongoing monitoring
process. They should only be used where appropriate and should
focus on areas of particular concern identified by the Regular
Reports, proposals for revised Accession Partnerships or in the
course of the negotiations.
These activities will contribute to the monitoring of commitments
made by candidate countries during the accession negotiations.
The Commission will report on its action plan, including on the
monitoring of these commitments, by the time of the Seville European
Council in June 2002
The 2002 Regular Reports will then closely examine what has been
done and whether, in the different areas of the acquis,
the candidate countries will be able to have the adequate structures
in place to implement and enforce the acquis by accession.
c) Administrative capacity beyond accession
Member States are expected to adjust regularly their administrative
capacity to the evolving needs of the acquis. Building
up an adequate administrative capacity is a process that will
not end with the conclusion of the negotiations; indeed, the process
will continue up to accession and beyond.
During the period between the signature of accession treaty and
the actual accession of the countries concerned, the Commission
will continue to follow developments on issues identified in the
course of the accession negotiations. In addition, it will also
follow developments on economic issues identified in the assessment
of the economic criteria. It will report accordingly to the Council.
Pre-accession programmes will continue to operate during that
period. For the first acceding countries, 2003 may be expected
to be the last year in which pre-accession funds are programmed.
Training of civil servants may become one of the most important
needs in this period. Implementation will normally continue for
up to three years. Transitional arrangements for the management
and eventual closure of the programmes in the first years after
accession need to be defined.
For the period after accession, the Commission will check, in
its role as guardian of the Treaties, how the acquis is
implemented by the new Member States, using the same mechanisms
applied to existing Member States. Such mechanisms include periodic
Commission reports to the Council on the application of Community
law, infringement proceedings, and dialogue between the Commission
and the Member States on implementation problems (such as the
internal market problem-solving network or co-ordination centres).
Benchmarking and peer pressure are increasingly used inside the
Union in order to develop interoperable and compatible administrative
structures. The participation of candidate countries in Community
programmes and agencies already contributes to the effective integration
of the candidate countries. The e-Europe initiative, national
employment strategies or activities in the context of the EMU
have already been extended to the candidate countries through
e-Europe plus, the Joint Assessment of Employment
Policy Priorities in preparation for their participation in the
European Employment Strategy and the pre-accession economic programmes.
Candidate countries should continue on this road towards integration
into existing policies and mechanisms of the EU.
In addition, the new Member States will benefit from any new
mechanisms that may be introduced in order to improve the implementation
of Community law. In its White Paper on Governance, the Commission
has indicated that it will propose in 2002 twinning arrangements
between national administrations to share best practice in implementing
measures, drawing on the experience with candidate countries,
and promote the knowledge of Community law with national courts
and lawyers. The introduction of such twinning between Member
States would allow candidate countries to continue to benefit
from such arrangements after accession. This would contribute
to a better implementation of the acquis in an enlarged
3. Turkey’s pre-accession strategy – towards
a new phase
The implementation of the pre-accession strategy, defined by
the Helsinki European Council, is now well underway. By the end
of this year, all elements of this strategy will be in place.
In the next phase, attention will turn to a more detailed preparation
for EU membership requirements.
In this new phase, Turkey is encouraged to intensify and accelerate
the process of political and economic reforms in line with
the Accession Partnership priorities. This entails further constitutional,
legislative, administrative and judicial reforms aimed at bringing
Turkey closer to EU standards. The recent constitutional reform
and the implementation of the new economic plan are a promising
start of this process.
Fuller use should be made of the enhanced political dialogue
to further stimulate progress on key issues which are priorities
of the Accession Partnership, such as human rights, Cyprus and
the peaceful settlement of border disputes.
The support Turkey has expressed in the political dialogue for
the UN Secretary General’s efforts to find a comprehensive
solution of the Cyprus problem should now be followed by
concrete steps by Turkey to facilitate a solution.
On European Security and Defence policy (ESDP), Turkey
should be forthcoming in solving the issue of the modalities for
participation in decisions on EU-led operations in view of the
decision to be taken by the Laeken European Council, in accordance
with the Nice European Council conclusions.
A number of confidence building measures in the context of Greek-Turkish
relations are being further developed and implemented. This
should create a climate conducive to the peaceful settlement of
border disputes in line with the Helsinki European Council conclusions.
Financial assistance will be used to help Turkey meet
Accession Partnership priorities. Turkey is invited to strengthen
its administrative capacity for project design and management
in keeping with the de-centralised approach followed with all
candidate countries. The Commission will mobilise advice and assistance
from Member State experts to support Turkey’s efforts. On
the basis of the framework agreement to be signed between the
EU and Turkey on Turkey’s participation in Community
programmes, Turkey is invited to put into place effective
structures for the management of these programmes, in particular
in the field of education.
The negotiations on the extension of the Customs Union in the
area of public procurement and public services are to be finalised
as a matter of priority.
The Feira European Council asked the Commission to report on
progress in preparing the process of the analytical examination
of the acquis. This report is annexed to the Regular Report
On the basis of experience to date and of the gaps that have
been identified in Turkish legislation and administrative preparations
for membership, it is now recommended that a new phase starts
in the pre-accession strategy. This will involve detailed scrutiny
of Turkey’s legislation and its timetable for alignment
with the acquis. In this phase, particular attention will
also be given to the capacity of the Turkish administration and
judiciary to implement and enforce the acquis effectively.
Henceforth, the EU and Turkey will engage in a more detailed
dialogue on the requirements for the transposition, implementation
and enforcement of the acquis, focussing on precise sectoral
issues to be examined by the relevant experts in the existing
fora. Sub–committee agendas will therefore focus on detailed
priorities for action. Turkish officials will receive additional
and more detailed information on specific parts of the acquis.
EU experts will review draft legislation under preparation in
Turkey. Workshops on selected issues will be organised by TAIEX.
Turkey will be invited to contribute actively to the Commission’s
database on the approximation of legislation to permit detailed
and continuos monitoring of progress.
It is recommended that the EC-Turkey Association Committee at
its next meeting should establish the subjects on which this process
will focus and the schedule of meetings.
4. The next steps
a) Meeting the accession criteria
Accession requires that candidates fulfil the conditions for
membership, that is the political and economic criteria, and the
ability to take on the obligations of membership. The Commission
will give a favourable recommendation on the accession of a country
if it is convinced that it will be able to meet the criteria by
This year’s Regular Reports and the present stage of the
accession negotiations do not yet allow the Commission to conclude
that the conditions for accession are fulfilled by any of the
candidate countries. However, given the present pace of negotiations
and the progress made so far, the Commission should be able to
make recommendations on which candidate countries are ready for
accession on the basis of its 2002 Regular Reports. Among the
twelve negotiating countries, ten have target dates of accession
compatible with the Göteborg timeframe.
The reforms still needed in each country are identified in this
year’s Regular Reports and revised Accession Partnerships.
In its 2002 Regular Reports, the Commission will complement its
assessment of progress made on the implementation of these remaining
reforms with an evaluation of each country's track record since
the Opinions. The Union should, thus, be prepared to conclude
the accession negotiations by the end of the Danish Presidency
in 2002 with countries meeting the necessary conditions and in
view of their accession in 2004.
b) The first accessions
The conclusions of the accession negotiations will be embodied
in a treaty of accession, bringing together, probably as in past
accessions in one legal instrument, the results of the separate
accession conferences. The drafting of the legal texts requires
technical preparation, which has already started.
For the last enlargement, this legal instrument – consisting
of a brief treaty and a lengthy Act of Accession mainly devoted
to the technical adaptations of secondary legislation necessary
for the accession of the four applicant countries concerned. It
also included a provision for adaptation of the treaty in the
event that a candidate country failed to ratify; this permitted
the treaty to come into force in spite of the rejection of ratification
For the next accession treaty, work on drafting should start
in the first half of 2002 within the framework of the Council
and the accession conferences. The Commission will assist by making
the necessary technical proposals. It will also identify those
parts of the acquis which require technical adaptations and will
provide the Council with an inventory of all such technical adaptations,
taking into account the information collected from each candidate
Enlargement will be subject to approval on the Union’s
side by the Council and by the European Parliament, taking account
of the final Opinion which the Commission will submit on the outcome
of the negotiations. The Treaty resulting from the accession negotiations
will then be formally signed by the parties concerned (Member
States and candidate countries) and submitted for ratification
by the contracting States in accordance with their respective
c) Other negotiating candidate countries - towards
an updated road map
For those negotiating candidate countries which will not form
part of the first accession, the Commission will continue to issue
Regular Reports, until the overall level of preparation allows
them to fulfil the criteria for accession. The European Union
will continue to lend its full support to the preparations for
membership by these candidates.
Negotiations will be pursued with them, on the basis of the principles
that have guided the accession process from the beginning. The
opening of all 29 acquis related negotiating chapters should
be possible next year, provided the candidates are sufficiently
In its 2002 Enlargement Strategy Paper, the Commission will set
out an updated road map, and, if necessary, a revised pre-accession
strategy, for such candidates, taking into account the progress
made in the next year and the conclusions of the Göteborg European
In the light of the above the European Commission recommends
to the European Council to conclude on the basis of the following
- The Regular Reports show that all negotiating countries have
made substantial progress over the last year in implementing
the accession criteria, which, together with the road map, has
permitted considerable advances in the negotiations.
- The principles for this process remain unchanged. The Berlin
European Council has set out a clear framework for the financial
aspects of enlargement. This framework provides a sufficient
basis for the accession of up to ten new Member States in 2004.
The European Council of Nice has defined the framework for the
institutional reform necessary for enlargement. Negotiations
are conducted on the basis of the existing acquis and
will be concluded with those candidates that fulfil all the
criteria for membership, applying the principles of own merits
and catching-up. These are the necessary and sufficient conditions
defined at the outset for accomplishing the first accessions.
- To this end, the road map should be followed as foreseen.
The EU will now have to determine common positions for the remaining
chapters. The Commission will ensure that the Council can debate
financial issues in a common framework early in 2002 and will
present proposals to the Council the fields of agriculture,
regional policy and budget on the basis of the existing acquis
and the principles inherent in the Berlin agreement. The
accession negotiations can be concluded independently of decisions
for financing the EU after 2006.
- This year’s Regular Reports and the present stage of
the accession negotiations do not yet allow the Commission to
conclude that the conditions for accession are fulfilled by
any of the candidate countries. Given the present pace of negotiations
and the progress made so far, the Commission should be able
to make recommendations on those candidate countries ready for
accession on the basis of its 2002 Regular Reports. Among the
twelve negotiating countries, ten have target dates of accession
compatible with the Göteborg timeframe. The Union should therefore
be prepared to conclude accession negotiations by the end of
the Danish Presidency in 2002, in view of accession in 2004,
with all countries meeting the necessary conditions. Necessary
administrative preparations inside the Institutions are already
under way and should be continued.
- In the framework of an action plan, the Commission will analyse
by early 2002 with each of the candidate countries their on-going
efforts for institution building and, if necessary, their intentions
to reinforce them, using a supplementary institution building
facility. The Commission will inform the Council on monitoring
actions including peer reviews by Spring 2002, so that they
can be taken up in the single framework of the accession negotiations.
The Commission will, by the time of the Seville European Council
in June 2002, report on its action plan including on the monitoring
of commitments made by the candidate countries during the accession
negotiations. The 2002 Regular Reports will examine whether
the candidate countries will have, by accession, adequate administrative
capacity to implement and enforce the acquis.
- Negotiations will be pursued with those candidates, which
will not form part of the first accessions, on the basis of
the principles that have guided the accession process from the
outset. The opening of all 29 acquis related negotiating
chapters should be possible next year, if the candidates are
sufficiently prepared. In its 2002 Enlargement Strategy Paper,
the Commission will set out an updated road map, and, if necessary,
a revised pre-accession strategy, taking into account the progress
made in the next year and the conclusions of the Göteborg European
- All candidate countries should be associated as far as possible
to the Lisbon process. Candidate countries will be involved
in the discussions on the future of Europe and in the Convention
which will prepare the way for the next Intergovernmental Conference.
- The parties involved in efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem
need to take full advantage of the window of opportunity before
the completion of the accession negotiations to achieve a settlement.
Provided the necessary political will is shown, a settlement
reflecting the concerns of the respective parties is attainable
through the process under the auspices of the United Nations.
It is particularly important that the Turkish Cypriot leadership
should re-engage in the UN process. The provisions of a political
settlement can be accommodated within EU accession arrangements
for Cyprus in line with the principles on which the EU is founded.
However, as decided by the European Council in Helsinki, if
a settlement has not been reached before the completion of the
accession negotiations, the Council will take its decision on
accession, without this being a pre-condition, in accordance
with the conclusions of the Helsinki European Council.
- By the end of this year, all elements of the pre-accession
strategy for Turkey, decided by the European Council in Helsinki,
will be in place. The pre-accession strategy should move into
a new, more intense phase, with the detailed scrutiny of Turkey’s
legislation and preparation for alignment with the acquis.
Turkey is encouraged to pursue the process of political and
economic reform, in order to make further progress towards satisfying
the Copenhagen criteria and the Accession Partnership priorities.
In the short term, particular importance is attached to improving
the respect for human rights in practice and to creating the
conditions for economic stability and growth. Turkey should
be forthcoming in working towards a solution of the Cyprus problem.
Furthermore, Turkey should contribute actively to overcome the
differences that have arisen over the European Security and
- To ensure that the public in Member States and in candidate
countries is well informed about the process of enlargement,
its implications and its potential benefits, the communication
strategy will be pursued with the full assistance of Member
States and the European Parliament. Indeed, it is imperative
that the historical process of re-unifying the European Continent
is strongly rooted in the support of its people.
|Conclusions of the Regular Reports
|Candidate countries: main statistical indicators
|The Pre-Accession Strategy
|Human Rights Conventions ratified by the
Candidate Countries, 30 September 2001
|Twinning projects in 1998-2001
|State of Play of the Negotiations on 26 October
Regular Reports 2001 for each Candidate Country