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History of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee (D-TR)

The European Parliament first created a Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee more than 50 years ago.

As early as 1963, the Association Agreement signed by the EU and Turkey in 1963 (also called the "Ankara Agreement") referred to parliamentary contact between the two countries:

"The Council of Association shall take all appropriate steps to promote the necessary cooperation and contacts between the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and other organs of the Community on the one hand and the Turkish Parliament and the corresponding organs in Turkey on the other.

"During the preparatory state, however, such contacts shall be limited to relations between the European Parliament and the Turkish Parliament."

Two years later, in 1965, a Joint Parliamentary Committee was established, based both on a European Parliament resolution of May 1965, and resolutions of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and the Turkish Senate, adopted respectively on 22 June and 14 July 1965.

Initially each side sent a delegation of 15 members to the committee, which aimed to meet twice a year, in venues alternating between Turkey and either Brussels or Strasbourg.

Relations interrupted

Several dozen inter-parliamentary meetings had been held by 1980.

However, in September of that year, a military coup d'état deposed the Turkish government and abolished the parliament. The EU's financial cooperation and relations with Turkey were suspended.

Only after November 1987, when the country held elections, did bilateral contacts recommence. In September 1988 the European Parliament adopted a resolution that confirmed it was "prepared to consider a resumption of the association in light of developments in Turkey."

The Joint Parliamentary Committee returned to its biannual schedule.

A new break occurred five years later, triggered by the trial of six members of the Turkish Parliament. This proved a shorter interruption, lasting only until late 1995.

Focus on accession negotiations

Since then, parliamentary cooperation continued, with an intensified schedule since 2011. That year, the Joint Parliamentary Committee's Rules of Procedure were revised. Under the new Rules, the committee may meet as many as three times a year.
No joint meetings were held between March 2015 and April 2018. This was due to the repeated parliamentary elections in Turkey in 2015 and to the strained EU-Turkey relations in the aftermath of the failed coup attempt on July 2016.
The total number of Joint Parliamentary Committee meetings having taken place by the end of the 8th parliamentary term reached 78.