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Turkey – Environment

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Turkey – Environment

Candidate countries conduct negotiations with the European Union (EU) in order to prepare themselves for accession. The accession negotiations cover the adoption and implementation of European legislation (acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.


Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1201 - Not published in the Official Journal].


The 2011 Report highlights the progress made by Turkey with regard to the environment, particularly concerning waste management. However, it notes limited advancements concerning water quality, chemical products and administrative capacities. Furthermore, the country must put in place a more effective policy on climate.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

EU environment policy aims to promote sustainable development and protect the environment for present and future generations. It is based on the integration of environmental protection into other EU policies, preventive action, the polluter pays principle, fighting environmental damage at source and shared responsibility. The acquis comprises over 200 legal acts covering horizontal legislation, water and air pollution, management of waste and chemicals, biotechnology, nature protection, industrial pollution and risk management, and noise.

Ensuring compliance with the acquis requires significant investment, but also brings significant benefits for public health and reduces costly damage to forests, buildings, landscapes and fisheries. A strong and well-equipped administration at national, regional and local level is imperative for the application and enforcement of the environment acquis.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

In the environment area, Turkey has made good progress on waste management, whereas only limited progress can be reported on horizontal legislation, air quality and industrial pollution control and risk management. Turkey made very limited progress on water quality, chemicals and on administrative capacity. No progress can be reported on nature protection.

Regarding climate change, Turkey made limited progress on awareness-raising on EU climate requirements, but a more robust and ambitious climate policy, both domestically and internationally, has yet to be established. There is a need to enhance administrative capacity.


Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 - Not published in the Official Journal]. The 2010 Report stressed that progress has been made on alignment, although preparations in the field of the environment were still at an initial stage. The progress related in particular to waste management, air and water quality, industrial pollution and chemicals. Efforts were still needed in the fields of climate and nature protection.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 – SEC(2008) 2699 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The November 2008 Report highlighted the strengthening of administrative capacity and the application of some reforms (air quality, water quality). However, the level of alignment was still low, and some laws adopted in 2008 continued to seriously endanger the environment (particularly in the field of mining operations and tourism).

Commission Report [COM(2007) 663 final – SEC(2007) 1436 - Not published in the Official Journal].

The November 2007 Report described substantial progress in terms of administrative capacity, but little or no progress in different environmental areas. The general level of transposition was low.

Commission Report [COM(2006) 649 final – SEC(2005) 1390 – Not published in the Official Journal].

In its November 2006 Report, the Commission notes that, except for some progress on waste management and noise, the overall level of transposition of the environmental acquis remains low. The lack of progress on horizontal legislation is of increasing concern, in particular on transboundary issues and on public consultation.

Commission Report [COM(2005) 561 final – SEC(2005) 1426 – Not published in the Official Journal].

The November 2005 Report stressed the progress made regarding waste management, noise and nature protection. The overall level of transposition of the environmental acquis was limited.

Commission Report [COM(2004) 656 final – SEC(2004) 1201 – Not published in the Official Journal].

The October 2004 Report noted that despite some progress, the overall level of transposition of the environment acquis remained low. Moreover, weaknesses in implementation and enforcement were still sources of major concern. Considerable investments needed to be secured.

Commission Report [COM(2003) 676 final – SEC(2003) 1212 – Not published in the Official Journal]. The November 2003 Report stated that the level of alignment and the implementation of legislation were inadequate.

Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final – SEC(2002) 1412 – Not published in the Official Journal].

The October 2002 Report indicated that Turkey had started to make progress in transposing the acquis and that notable progress had been achieved regarding the improvement of administrative capacities.

Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final – SEC(2001) 1756 – Not published in the Official Journal].

The November 2001 Report noted that Turkey had not made any substantial progress on transposing the acquis.

Commission Report [COM(2000) 713 final – Not published in the Official Journal]. The November 2000 Report stated that no progress had been recorded in the fields of air quality, waste management water quality, nature protection, industrial pollution risks, chemical products, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the ozone layer and nuclear safety.

Commission Report [COM(1999) 513 – Not published in the Official Journal]. In its 1999 Report the Commission underlined that Turkish legislation was very different from that of the Community.

Commission Report [COM(1998) 711 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

See also

Last updated: 30.12.2011