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EU Supports for Civil Society

Since 1999, when Turkey gained candidate status, the European Union has been one of the main institutions supporting the improvement 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 support 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 improvement of civil society in Turkey have reached approximately 200 million Euros. For this reason, civil society organizations who are seeking resources and/or support often wonder what EU supports are for the civil society in Turkey. If you want to increase your knowledge on this issue, we recommend that you view the following strategy and planning documents between Turkey and the EU.

The detailed information about relations and financial cooperation between Turkey and the ECC (it became the European Union with the Maastricht Treaty, which entered into force in 1993) since 1964 can be found at the web site of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate for EU Affairs, Republic of Turkey.

Besides, generic information regarding the support provided by the European Commission and the EU Delegation to Turkey to civil society, within the scope of the direct management modality can be found on the website of the European Union Delegation to Turkey “Funding for Civil Society”.

IPA III and Civil Society

The new period of the EU Pre-Accession Financial Instrument (IPA III) covering the years 2021-2027 has begun.  EU financial support to Turkey remains one of the most important aspects of EU-Turkey relations, and this financial support contributes to the development of civil society in Turkey.

While IPA is the most dynamic dimension of Turkey-EU relations,to benefit from these grant programs and prepare more qualified applications, it is useful to have a good understanding of the information we have tried to summarize above. In this context, we have compiled the new period of IPA III and the changes made in an information note for you.

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, which also covers the grant procedures for civil society.

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

Companion is 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 About the EU Visibility Guidelines”.