Accession Negotiations

Accession negotiations are vital in terms of evaluating how ready candidate countries are for accession. Each country is judged on its own merits from the point of view of compliance with the accession criteria. Negotiations help candidate countries to prepare to fulfill the obligations of European Union membership. They also allow the Union to prepare itself for enlargement in terms of absorption capacity. Negotiations relate to the adoption and implementation of the Community acquis, which is monitored by the Commission. The acquis is divided into chapters. There are as many chapters as areas in which progress must be made. Negotiations take place at bilateral intergovernmental conferences between the Member States and the candidate country. The results of the negotiations are incorporated into a draft accession treaty, once the negotiations on all chapters are closed. Where appropriate, the system of transitional measures allows negotiations to be concluded even if transposition of the acquis has not been completed.