Since the negotiations for full membership of the European Union launched on 3 October 2005, Ministry of Labour and Social Security has been responsible for 13 negotiation chapters particularly for Chapter 19 Social Policy and Employment and Chapter 2 Freedom of Movement for Workers.The ministry has participated in the screening phase for all related chapters.

In addition to the negotiation works, the department participates in the “7th Regional Development, Employment and Social Policy Sub Committee” which is carried out between the European Commission and Turkey and also makes remarks in the context of concordance to the acquis communautaire on national legislation drafts created by related institutions.

Chapter 2-Free Movement for Workers

The concept of “Free Movement for Workers” refers to the movement of labour in the European Union Single Market without confronting any obstacles such as other economic factors. This concept is one of the four main freedom areas in the European Union Single Market. Legislation under this chapter regulates the right to work in another member state and the exposure of equal treatment with the states’ own citizens on subjects including working conditions, social aids and taxation for citizens of European Union member states with any qualification those perform income generating work affiliated to an employer. This right to work includes rights to look for job, to residence for that reason and to come together with family. Under this chapter, social security coordination has been developed to prevent interruption in case European Union citizens’ and their family members’-who are affiliated to social security systems - move to another member state.

In the context of the Second Chapter, introductory screening meeting and comprehensive screening meeting were held respectively at 19 July 2006 and 11 September 2006. Screening report has not been submitted officially yet.

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Chapter 19-Social Policy and Employment

Activities on labour law, occupational health and safety, social dialogue, employment, social inclusion, anti-discrimination, equal opportunities and unregistered employment priorities are carried out with relation to the Chapter 19 Social Policy and Employment. The department also works on the adoption of the acquis communautaire into national legislation and efficient implementation of the regulations and the improvement of the institutional capacity of all related institutions.

In this context, the screening phase of the chapter was coordinated with the State Planning Organization. The phase was completed with the introductory meeting held on 8-10 February 2006, the detailed screening meeting held on 20-22 March 2006 and the “Screening Report” prepared by the European Commission.

Two opening criterias were specified upon the completion of the screening phase: Alignment of trade unions rights with European Union legislation and relevant ILO conventions, provide an action plan for the enforcement of the acquis. As the criterias are met, negotiations on Chapter 19 will begin. The department actively works on the fulfilling these criterias.

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TAIEX is the Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument that supports partner countries with regards to the approximation, application and enforcement of European Union legislation. This program which runs open only for public institutions in Turkey and other partner countries provide support under three forms consisting of study visits, expert missions and seminars. This mechanism operates upon the request of public institutions. The coordination and the follow up of applications which are in the venue of Ministry of Labour and Social Security is conducted by the department.

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Employment and Social Reform Programme (ESRP) refers to the soft law including the ways to follow by the definition of main problematic areas, objectives and measures in order to approximate countries with the European 2020 Strategy and to develop dialogue in the areas of employment and social policies. The context of the programme also includes associating IPA funds with present policies and supporting the harmonization with European Union legislation in eligible areas.

Within the scope of ESRP, four year joint monitoring process will be operated. Assessments will be conducted depending on the negotiated indicators and the use of IPA funds for the defined priorities will be incorporated to the process and the evaluation of employment and social situation in the yearly progress report will be assisted.

An introductory meeting for ESRP was held on 25 April 2013 with the participation of the European Commission, related public bodies, social partners and non-governmental organizations.