Accession negotiations

Negotiations regarding the adoption and implementation of the community acquis ( by candidate countries ( . Each country is judged on its own merits based on compliance with the accession criteria. Negotiations help candidate countries to prepare to fulfil the obligations of EU membership and assess how ready they are. They also allow the EU to prepare itself for enlargement ( in terms of absorption capacity.

The community acquis is divided into chapters, and there are as many chapters as areas in which progress must be made. These areas are identified by screening the acquis. Each chapter is negotiated individually, and measurable reference criteria are defined for the opening and closing of each chapter.

Negotiations take place at bilateral Intergovernmental Conferences ( between member states and the candidate country. Common negotiating positions are defined for each of the chapters relating to matters of Community competence.

The results of the negotiations (with the outcome of political and economic dialogues) are incorporated into a draft accession treaty, once the negotiations on all chapters are closed. Compliance is monitored by the European Commission ( and, where appropriate, the system of transitional measures allows negotiations to be concluded even if transposition of the acquis has not been completed.

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