A key objective of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance II (IPA II) is to support reforms in the “enlargement countries” that bring them closer to the EU and help them converge with EU rules and standards. IPA II sets a framework for providing pre-accession assistance for the period 2014-2020 and puts specific emphasis on the need to further support civil society.
A part of IPA assistance for civil society is managed by the Turkish authorities, with the CFCU as contracting authority and the Directorate for EU Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the lead institution. Civil Society is a specific sub-sector of IPA II under the chapter "Democracy and Governance" of the Country Strategy Paper on IPA Assistance to Turkey. Actions managed by the Turkish authorities mainly focus on projects that strengthen civil society–public sector cooperation in Turkey, the EU-Turkey Civil Society Dialogue, and civil society development.
IPA assistance for civil society is also managed by the EU Delegation in Turkey through the Civil Society Facility (CSF). The CSF supports actions that empower civil society and ensure its active participation in the public debate, including on democracy, human rights, social inclusion, and the rule of law.
In December 2018, the new Civil Society Facility and Media Programme has been approved. Based on the new action document, the EU will fund, through CSF, actions to strengthen the capacity of CSOs to carry out rights-based actions and monitor and advocate for human rights in Turkey. It will also provide support to strengthen CSOs' Networks and Platforms and increase their ability to network and engage in joint actions.
The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) provides direct financial support to Civil Society Organizations to stimulate the development and consolidation of democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The EIDHR is a unique tool that focuses on sensitive human rights issues such as freedom of expression, improved access to justice, the fight against torture and impunity, protection and respect of cultural diversity, and the rights of vulnerable groups and minorities.
Turkey is one of the largest recipients of EIDHR funds in the world. To date, the EIDHR has funded more than 150 projects in Turkey totalling approximately €30 million. Currently, over 40 projects are ongoing.
EIDHR priorities are centred on the following areas:
- support for human rights and human rights defenders in situations where they are most at risk;
- strengthening civil society to promote human rights and democratic reform and consolidate political participation and representation;
- support for disadvantaged groups;
- support for targeted key actors and processes, including international and regional human rights instruments and mechanisms;
- support for EU Election Observation Missions (EOMs).
The EIDHR provides funding to civil society projects or international/intergovernmental organisations and small grants to human rights defenders. Candidates for EIDHR funding can apply online through the EuropeAid Development and Cooperation Office website, where calls for proposals are posted.
EU Human Rights Guidelines on Non-discrimination in External ActionEU guidelines _ ST_6337_2019_INIT_EN.pdf