Civil Society Dialogue
This programme aims at bringing together civil society organisations, municipalities, professional organisations, universities, and religious and business communities from Turkey and the EU to work together on topics of common interest, share technical knowledge and expertise, and develop long-term relationships. The Civil Society Dialogue strengthens civil society involvement in the European integration process and hence complements institutional and political cooperation.
The Civil Society Dialogue Programme is co-financed by the European Union and the Republic of Turkey under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA). The Directorate for European Union Affairs is the responsible institution for implementation of the programme, while the Central Finance and Contracts Unit is the contracting authority.
Since its launch in 2008, the Civil Society Dialogue Programme has supported over 600 dialogue partnerships through 350 projects in many different fields with a total financial support of €42.6 million through the first four phases. The fourth phase of the programme, which ended in 2018, supported projects across nine policy areas with a budget of €11 million. These areas included the environment, energy, consumer and health protection, justice, freedom and security, the right of establishment and freedom to provide services, regional policy and coordination of structural instruments, enterprise and industrial policy, agriculture and fisheries, and education.
Some of the programme's achievements include:
- the first-ever solar-powered prototype boat in Turkey
- an underwater park established in Gokceada to raise awareness of the local underwater biodiversity and need for its protection
- the Eurasia Road, a cross-border long distance walking path that starts from Ipsala-Edirne and runs all the way down to Demre-Antalya;
- the establishment of an Entrepreneurial Skills Pass (ESP) programme
A follow-up programme, the Civil Society Dialogue V, will start in 2019.