Glossary of summaries

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Screening, or analytical examination of the EU's acquis (the body of EU law applicable in the EU), is the preparatory stage of accession negotiations. It is vital since it forms the basis for the bilateral negotiations between the European Union and the various candidate countries.

The screening process is carried out jointly by the European Commission and each of the candidate countries, allowing the latter to familiarise themselves with EU law and demonstrate their capacity to put it into effect.

A further purpose of screening is to identify those areas of EU law in which progress is needed if the candidate countries' legislation is to be compatible with EU rules. These areas are divided into chapters, which are negotiated individually.

A further screening exercise may be carried out during the accession negotiations if EU law has been updated.