Active Civil Society Participation in EU Accession Talks Project
The project aims to encourage and sustain effective Civil Society Organization (CSO) participation in Turkey’s pre-accession process in order to support (i) establishing and strengthening participatory democracy; (ii) awareness raising and wider recognition of EU accession in Turkey.
The overall objectives of the project are (1) to create a new impetus for Turkey’s EU accession process through reinvigorating civic involvement and increasing civil society’s interest in the accession process and promoting participatory democratic culture; (2) to contribute to the ongoing efforts for achieving effective participation of CSOs in public decision making by establishing sustainable mechanisms of dialogue and cooperation between CSOs and public authorities/institutions, and promoting democratic values through strengthening transparency and accountability of public policies.
The specific objective of the action is to reinforce CSOs role and influence in Turkey’s EU accession process in national and EU level by providing tools and skills and establishing mechanisms and linkages for effective advocacy and active participation in policy making, as well as lobbying for increased transparency, accountability and civic involvement in all dimensions of the accession process.
The key stakeholders are: (i) CSOs including those (a) that promotes Turkey’s EU membership in general through concrete actions, (b) that take part in rights based advocacy and monitoring of public policies with expertise in different areas; (ii) public institutions that design and coordinate Turkey’s accession process as well as those that extensively make use of EU funding and take part in different negotiation chapters, particularly those relevant to the requirements of Political Criteria; (iii) EU executives that plan, coordinate and monitor Turkey’s accession processes.
The action is composed of activities aiming (i) to create a knowledge base on Turkey’s progress in EU accession since 2004, including all kinds of funds provided by EU to different sectors, as well as the level of CSO involvement in negotiation process so far; (ii) capacity building for CSOs in order to enhance their advocacy and lobbying skills through training and by providing information on best practices of democratic participation in both pre-accession and member countries; (iii) structured dialogue between EU related public institutions and a target group of CSOs using the results of review and evaluation of Turkey’s accession process since 2004 as a tool for productive debate; (iv) familiarize a target group of CSOs to EU level decision making and lobbying and to construct sustainable relations between them and a prominent EU level network ENNA and (v) to initiate the establishment of a CSO Watchdog for Turkey’s Accession.
The main outputs of the project will be;
(i) a report in Turkish with an executive summary in English on the Turkey’s 10 years of EU Candidacy Process listing all types of EU funds used by both public institutions and CSOs and projects carried out through those funds, evaluating the utilization of funds from CSOs point of view in terms of their relation to different thematic areas and effect on various social groups and according to their success in achieving efficiency, sustainability, and democratic participation, the handling of the negotiations on chapters opened so far in terms of civil society’s involvement to the consultation process, and the effectiveness of mechanisms established during this period in order to facilitate dialogue and cooperation between civil society and public sector;
(ii) a booklet in Turkish on “The Importance and Best Practices of CSOs Involvement in EU Processes” that will provide case studies of successful civil society-public sector interactions in accession and member countries;
(iii) a toolkit on national and EU level advocacy and lobbying composed of various presentations to be made during capacity building meetings;
(iv) a strategy paper to be prepared by the target group of CSOs providing briefly their opinions on the negotiation process and utilization of EU funds and their concrete demands in order to enhance the role and influence of CSOs in Turkey’s accession process in both national and EU level as well as to ensure transparency and accountability for the rest of the accession process.