accession negotiations
European Union
Accession negotiations relate to the adoption and implementation of the community acquis by candidate countries. Each country is judged on its own merits from the point of view of 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 community acquis. The Technical Assistance and Information Exchange programme (TAIEX) plays a part in this. 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 transposal of the acquis has not been completed.

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

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