Turkey: good growth perspectives, but challenges remain

Turkey should develop a National Lisbon Reform Programme, says an expert report. Other reforms should tackle the issues of employment of women and trade union rights.

The main findings of the report on economic developments in the context of the Lisbon Strategy are that Turkey has promising growth prospects, largely due to a growing young population. Nevertheless, further structural reforms are necessary. The main problems, the report finds, lie with the labour market. Unemployment rates have reached 10% in 2005. The JCC therefore recommended applying the Lisbon Strategy to Turkey in a National Reform Programme, but with different priorities.

The JCC further made recommendations to improve the situation of women working in Turkey. Gender equality is far from being a reality in Turkey. The expert group also found shortcomings in the area of trade union rights.

Since October 2005, Turkey has entered formal accession negotiations with the EU. As part of this process, there is a screening procedure for each chapter of the EU’s acquis since October 2005. This screening thus looks at different policy areas and their compatibility with EU requirements.

The recent meeting of the EU-Turkey joint consultative committee (JCC) presented three preliminary reports on women and employment, Turkish economic developments in the context of the Lisbon Strategy and the situation of trade union rights in Turkey. The EU-Turkey JCC is and official body that assembles representatives of organised civil society in the EU and Turkey.

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