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The Negotiation Procedure

Substantive Negotiations

Cyprus and the European Union have so far negotiated 15 chapters in the context of the Substantive Negotiations. Ten chapters have closed temporarily and do not require further negotiation. The other five chapters remain open and will be negotiated in due course. Cyprus has submitted its position papers for a further eight chapters which will also be negotiated this year. With the negotiation of these chapters Substantive Negotiations are expected to cover within 1999 two thirds of all chapters, which are 29 altogether.

Also, by the end of 1999 Cyprus will submit its position papers on the six remaining chapters which are expected to be negotiated in the first half of 2000.

The procedure for substantive negotiations on chapters already screened began some five months after the initiation of the acquis screening process in April 1998. The 6 leading candidate countries were required to submit by the beginning of Authumn.

«position papers» on the following seven chapters which had already been considered in the screening process:

In these 7 «position papers» Cyprus did not seek any special arrangements or transitional periods, with the sole exception of Telecommunications and information technologies. With respect to this chapter Cyprus had requested (during that phase of negotiations) that a transitional period of one year (up to 31 December 2003) be provided, in order to give more time for the full liberalization of the telecommunications sector.

On 5 October 1998 the General Affairs Council of the EU decided that substantive negotiations will begin with the six first wave leading applicant states, on the 7 chapters referred to above. The positions of Cyprus were discussed at the Cyprus Accession Conference, held at the level of Chief Negotiators, on 29 October 1998, and at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs on 10 November 1998. Cyprus reserved its position on the chapters on Telecommunications and Information Technologies and Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), and consequently these chapters are still open for consideration. The chapter on CFSP has remained open for all the applicant countries mainly because the Amsterdam Treaty, which brings major changes in the Chapter, had not   been ratified at that time. In addition the chapter on CFSP continues to preoccupy the EU itself and is continuously evolving.

For the other five chapters Cyprus and the EU have agreed that no further negotiation is required for the time being.

The 15 EU member states established a common position, whereby it was strongly emphasized that the agreements that have been successfully achieved regarding the above chapters, should not be considered as final until such time as a comprehensive agreement for all the chapters has been completed.

This negotiating principle was laid down by the EU member-states in all the chapters under negotiation and concerns all the candidate countries.

The EU also noted, with regards to Cyprus, that there has been no response from the Turkish Cypriots with respect to the proposal for participation by representatives of theirs in the negotiation process. The Cyprus-EU Intergovernmental Conference where Cyprus accession negotiations are held may for these reasons return to the chapters which have already been considered, at any time.

In the 2nd half of 1998, Cyprus also submitted its position papers on the following 8 chapters:

These eight chapters were negotiated during the German Presidency in the first half of 1996 in the context of substantive accession negotiations at two Cyprus-EU intergovernmental conferences on 19 April and 19 May, at the level of Negotiator, and at the intergovernmental conference on 21 June, at the Foreign Minister level.

The chapter on Telecommunications and Information Technologies, which had remained open at the previous negotiating phase, was also included in these conferences. As regards this chapter, Cyprus informed the EU member-states of its decision to withdraw its initial request for a transitional period of one year. Both Cyprus and the EU reaffirmed that accession negotiations were proceeding normally and agreed that further negotiations would not be required at that stage on the following chapters:

Ôelecommunications and Information Technologies

By the end of the German Presidency, in the second half of 1999, Cyprus «closed» ten chapters. The following chapters remained open for further negotiation:

Company Law, Free Movement of Goods, Competition Policy, Fisheries and Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).

The chapter on CFSP remains open for the same reasons that had applied in the previous phase of negotiations, inspite of the fact that the Treaty of Maastricht had in the meantime been ratified and come into force in May 1999.

The chapter on the Free Movement of Goods remains open because it concerns a wide range of subjects and will remain under negotiation for some time.

The chapter on Company Law remains open for further negotiation of the question concerning the submission of annual accounts by shipping companies and public access to this information.

The chapter on Competition Policy remains open because of issues relating to the status of the Cooperative Credit Societies.

The chapter on Fisheries remains open for further negotiation on supervision of Cyprus flag fishing vessels in the open seas.

Cyprus submitted its position papers on a further eight chapters which are being negotiated during the Finnish Presidency in the second half of 1999. These concern the following chapters:

Details on the screening and negotiation process for each chapter that has been considered are provided below.


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