Parliamentary questions
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22 March 2016
Question for oral answer O-000053/2016
to the Council
Rule 128
Birgit Sippel, on behalf of the S&D Group

 Subject: Legal nature and binding nature of the so-called 'EU-Turkey Agreement'

According to the Lisbon Treaty, an international agreement having an impact on ‘ordinary’ EU legislation should be negotiated by the Council or the Commission in compliance with Article 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and approved by Parliament, which ‘shall be immediately and fully informed at all stages of the procedure.’ (Article 218(10) TFEU). The very aim of these provisions is, on the one hand, not to put Parliament under pressure to transpose into EU legislation measures which have not previously obtained its consent and, on the other hand, to implement the ‘bona fide’ principle with the third country concerned. Notwithstanding these clear provisions at Treaty level, a so-called ‘EU-Turkey Agreement’ has been negotiated by some Member States (with the participation of the Commission) and then finalised by the Heads of State and Government of the Member States meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister. Despite its generic title (‘Statement’), the agreement provides for several obligations on both sides and a mutual monitoring mechanism.

1. Does the Council consider that the ‘EU-Turkey Agreement’, which covers domains currently under EU exclusive and shared competence, is binding under international law and/or EU law?

2. If so, why was the Agreement not negotiated and concluded in compliance with Article 218 TFEU?

3. If not, has the Turkish counterpart been informed of the non-binding nature of the Agreement and of the fact that some aspects may not be implemented as expected?

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