As support to civil society constitutes an important priority for pre-accession assistance to Turkey, an Indicative Strategy Paper for Turkey has been approved for a four-year period. The IPA 2014–2020 framework sets out the priorities of EU financial assistance to support Turkey on its path to accession.
The strategy was developed through a consultative process with the relevant Turkish authorities, the European Parliament, Member State embassies in Ankara, international organisations, and CSOs in Turkey. It identifies key areas where financial assistance is most needed and most useful in helping Turkey meet the accession criteria.
Financial assistance under IPA II is given for the following four objectives:
- Support for political reforms;
- Support for economic, social and territorial development;
- Strengthening the ability of the beneficiary country to fulfil the (future) obligations stemming from membership in the EU;
- Strengthening regional integration and territorial cooperation.
Furthermore, IPA II focuses financial assistance in five policy areas, all of which are relevant to civil society:
- Reforms in preparation for EU membership and related institution- and capacity-building;
- Socioeconomic and regional development;
- Social policies, employment, education, promotion of gender equality, and human resources development;
- Agriculture and rural development;
- Regional and territorial cooperation.
IPA II and civil society
IPA II provides financial assistance for civil society on the basis of a comprehensive programme that follows a multi-annual planning approach. Both CSOs and public sector institutions benefit from this financial assistance.
IPA II provides support for legislative reforms to improve the enabling environment for civil society and to encourage more participatory governance. This is performed mainly through institution-building measures (technical assistance and twinning). Indirect management by the Turkish authorities applies, particularly for the Civil Society Dialogue component and most actions to support civil society development. These include grant schemes and other funding modalities that aim to improve the representativeness, credibility and institutional capacities of CSOs. Activities targeting specific goals, such as training or networking activities, may also be supported through direct management via the Civil Society Facility. The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) will remain available to complement the IPA II support covered under this Strategy Paper.