01 Aug 2004

Turkey in the EU Area of Freedom, Security and Justice

Joanna Apap / Sergio Carrera / Kemal Kirişci

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EU-Turkey Working Paper No. 3, 55 pages

This paper assesses issues of border controls, visa regimes, asylum and irregular immigration policies in context of Turkey’s candidacy for accession to the EU. Under present EU policy, Turkey would need to apply all present legislation governing the movement of persons across the external frontiers of the Schengen area by the time of accession, although the frontier between Turkey and the Schengen area would not be eliminated for some years, as is also the case for the new member states which acceded in May 2004. A certain degree of flexibility as regards the application of the EU/Schengen border and visa regimes is advisable taking into consideration the economic and political interests and sensitivities of both Turkey and the EU in relation to their common external neighbourhood. This report therefore evaluates various special regimes such as those adopted by Spain and Portugal, and the European Commission’s proposal for facilitating local border traffic – the latter in the light of the recent experience of sharply curtailed movements across the Polish-Ukrainian border. Finally, the Bulgarian experience in the field of justice and home affairs will be reviewed as a possible model for Turkey in its progress towards EU accession.