How Does It Work?

How Does It Work?

From Brussels to the most remote location in Turkey, EU money follows EU rules.

The cycle of EU funding for a candidate country includes the following steps:

- Budgetary decision regarding the amount to be allocated by the EU to the country concerned – the decision is taken in Brussels by the EU member states, on a number of factors including the size and population of the country, and reform requirements in certain areas etc. 

- Allocation of funds into national programmes – decision taken jointly by the European Commission and the Turkish government, based on the investment needs in the priority areas for accession; the quality of sectoral proposals submitted for funding, the absorption capacity of the various ministries applying for EU funding etc. The Programming of funds follow these steps:

  • Turkish government institutions submit project ideas to the EU Secretariat General (EUSG)
  • The EUSG and the EC DG for Enlargement jointly select projects to be further developed
  • The Turkish government institutions develop detailed project proposals
  • The Turkish government and the European Commission then allocate funds for these projects.

The national programme is composed of a number of projects that support the reform requirements in specific areas. Generally EU funding finances 75% of the overall cost of the project, but in some projects EU funding may reach 100%.

- Contracting of funds within the various national programmes – once the respective annual national programme is signed, the projects are implemented by a process of tendering. The Central Finance and Contracts Unit (CFCU), an institution within the Turkish administration is responsible for the tendering and payment process. The organisation of the competitive procedure for contracting these funds is done according to EU public procurement. The successful bidders/applicants are awarded contracts for the activities they undertake to deliver in support  rules of the projects. The contracts can be one of five kinds: Services, Supplies, Works, Grants or Twinning. To ensure transparency and equal treatment, tenders and calls for proposals are published on the following website:


- Disbursement of funds –  These payments are made only if the contractors have respected their obligations, as well as the procurement rules of the EU.

The responsibility for the use of EU funds in Turkey lies with the Turkish government. The European Commission, however, has the mandate to ensure that EU procedures are followed throughout the tendering process. Therefore the EU Delegation in Ankara on behalf of the European Commission gives its ex-ante approval before any tender is launched or contract awarded.

The ex-ante approval will be replaced by an ex-post control, once Turkey has acquired the experience of implementing EU funds according to EU rules and procedures of sound financial management. This means that the European Commission will leave full responsibility to the Turkish institutions, and will only check randomly after the funds have been paid to contractors and/or projects implemented.

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