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EU Supports for Civil Society

15.10.2020
Since 1999, when Turkey gained candidate status, the European Union has been one of the main institutions supporting the development of civil society in Turkey as part of the strengthening of participatory democracy and the dialogue between the EU and Turkey. Especially with the initiation of full membership negotiations in 2005, financial supports as well as political support for the development of civil society started to increase.

In the second period of pre-accession financial cooperation between 2013-2020, the direct resources allocated by the EU for the development of civil society in Turkey have reached approximately 200 million Euros. For this reason, civil society organizations seeking resources and/or support often wonder what EU supports are for the development of civil society in Turkey. If you want to increase your knowledge on this issue, we recommend that you review the following strategy and planning documents between Turkey and the EU.

https://www.avrupa.info.tr/en/learn-about-eu-visibility-guidelines-16  You can also take a look at the information we have collected under the title of EU Projects Grant Management below for basic information on how these supports are provided. We have also included our video presentations where we discussed some important issues in the management of EU Grants at the end of the page. 

Strategy and Planning Documents

Turkey - EU Financial Assistance Guide is a guide prepared by the Republic of Turkey the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Directorate for EU Affairs, which provides information about the framework of EU supports and the financial assistance provided to Turkey.

EU's Support to Civil Society

As stated in the Indicative Strategy Paper for Turkey 2014-2020, the EU's support for civil society has 3 objectives:

  1. To support the development of civil society by ensuring more active participation in democratic politics and decision-making processes,
  2. To promote fundamental rights and a culture of dialogue,
  3. To increase civil society dialogue and intercultural sharing between civil societies in Turkey and Europe.

Studies aimed at realizing these results include:

  • Improving the legislative environment regarding the activities of CSOs and their participation in policymaking,
  • Strengthening the cooperation between CSOs and the Public Sector by supporting the establishment of balanced and transparent mechanisms,
  • Building capacity in CSOs to improve their domains, governance, and institutional capacities such as advocacy, administrative and financial sourcing skills,
  • Encouraging exchanges and cooperation between citizens in Turkey and in the EU to work together in areas of common interest, share technical knowledge and expertise, and establish long-term partnerships.

In addition to these, DG Guidelines for Civil Society Support by EU, 2014-2020 have been developed by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Neighborhood, and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) in consultation with civil society to encourage the participation of civil society in decision-making processes in enlargement countries. Its purpose is to provide a framework for developing appropriate legislation and monitoring and evaluating the results achieved by civil society in the pre-accession process and with the assistance of the EU. 

With a budget of 35 million Euro, it is aimed to support a series of activities strengthening the active citizenship and civil society oriented for supporting the human rights and fundamental rights in Turkey within the scope of the Civil Society and Media Program 2018-2019.

The Civil Society Sector is the framework where some activities for the civil society will be performed during the period covering the years 2014-2020 of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), which is the most dynamic dimension of EU-Turkey relations. You can access the civil society supports carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Department of EU, and the related news at the website of the The Civil Society Sector.

Calls for EU Projects Proposals and Tenders

 You can access the calls for proposals of EU and tenders, including grant calls for Civil Society through the EuropeAid page. 

EU Projects Grant Management

PRAG (The Practical Guide to Contract Procedures for EU External Actions), known as the guide for the external financial assistance of the European Union, is the main source that covers the tender procedures and rules.  PRAG, developed by the European Commission, is a detailed document containing procedures for the management of procurement, grants, and projects. PRAG 2019, which also covers the grant procedures for civil society, is the latest version updated on 15 July 2019.

You can access the annexes of PRAG 2019, which also includes the documents related to the grant projects from the PRAG Annexes’den.

Companionis an important resource covering some details regarding the procedures for the implementation of EU funded projects, including grant projects and developed by the European Commission, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (EC DEVCO). As stated in the introduction part of this resource, Companion is not a legally binding document, and it is not an official interpretation of contracts and does not bring any rights or obligations to the contracting authority, neither.

The EU Visibility Principles have been drafted in order to draw some visual attention to the fact that the projects have obtained the support of the European Union whether they have been financed completely or partially by the European Union. It is obligatory to use the visibility principles by all contractors and/or implementing partners specified under financial agreements and contracts signed by the European Commission or another Contracting Authority and which are expressly referring to these principles. 

Further information about the visibility principles can be accessed at the page of EU Delegation to Turkey Learn the EU Visibility Principles.

EU Projects Grant Management Training Presentations

You can watch the training videos of “Final Financial Reporting”  and “Final Technical Reporting”

“Interim Financial Reporting”, and “Interim Technical Reporting” 

In addition to these, we recommend you watch the training video titled “How to request minor notifications / unilateral amendments?” for contract amendments.

You can also find detailed information about the Logical Frame approach at the STGM page.