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EURODIALOGUE

Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

projects supported via those structural funds. As a candidate country, Turkey has shown a greater absorption rate and may therefore not be affected. Although the Common Agricultural Policy will continue to play an important role in the EU budget, several adaptations are foreseen which should make it more sustainable and competitive. One of the main targets of the upcoming reform of the Common Agricultural Policy is to distribute support in a fairer and more equitable manner. To this end, the direct payments per hectare across the member states will be gradually merged. As this convergence is to be financed by the countries which currently receive payments above the average, the Commission expects convergence to a 90% level to take three financial periods. With Turkey being part of the EU, this convergence is to take even longer because of the huge size of the agricultural sector with its low productivity level and its many small farms. Another strand of the reform is a stronger focus on sustainability and environmentally friendly farming. To this end, the Commission intends to introduce conditionality beyond the existing cross-compliance measures via a “greening component.� This means that the granting of a certain share of EU funds should be made conditional upon compliance with sustainability and environmental criteria. Considering the poor performance of the Turkish agricultural sector in this realm, this measure would pose a huge challenge for Turkey as it would entail large costs for compliance. Although some pilot projects have been initiated already to make the Turkish authorities acquainted with the implementation of EU programs, the Turkish authorities would require a huge capacity upgrade. Although only the most important policy areas have been covered, the implications of EU policy trends for Turkey and the EU become clear: in order to catch up to the EU average, Turkey would require significant support from the EU budget in absolute terms because of its size. Admittedly, experience with previous enlargements shows that EU membership has an accelerating effect on the economic development in the new member state as well as on labor productivity and that this, in turn, slows down inflation. Nonetheless, the catching-up process, for example, for Poland (whose economic

Turkey on the European doorstep

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Turkey on the European Doorstep  

A Publication based on the International Conference organised at the European Parliament/Brussels by Dr. ELENI THEOCHAROUS, Member of the Eu...

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