Many activities will be held within the scope of projects to be implemented all over Anatolia as part of the Preparing Provinces for the EU Programme under the aupices of Minister for Eurepean Affairs and Chief Negotiator, Egemen Bağış.
Enthusiasm for the EU is being spread throughout Anatolia with the project titled “Improving the Effectiveness of Governorates in the EU Accession Process,” launched by the Ministry for EU Affairs in 2010. The project aims to use EU financial assistance more effectively at the local level and share the experience gained through adoption of the EU acquis in local regions. It will also help to overcome the misperceptions, prejudices, and groundless fears in the public regarding the EU membership process.
Firstly, deputy governors in eighty-one provinces were assigned to be Provincial Permanent Contact Points for EU Affairs. They have started to function as an effective medium to disseminate EU-related information throughout the provinces. The provinces are now better involved in the EU accession process through EU Units established within the governorships. Designated as provincial extensions of the Ministry for EU Affairs, the EU Units have already turned out to be effective, rapid, and accurate information outlets for EU-related information in the provinces.
Additionally, Provincial Advisory and Steering Committees for EU Affairs (EU PASC) were established with the participation of representatives from public institutions and NGOs working actively in the city. A democratic platform to share information and views has thus been established with the cooperation of all related parties (public-private-NGOs) for securing maximum contributions to the EU process at the local level.
Preparing Provinces for the European Union
For the purpose of enhancing the project titled “Improving the Effectiveness of Governorates in the EU Accession Process” and improving the technical and administrative capacities of the EU Units of the governorates, a new multi-year program named “Provinces Preparing for the European Union” was launched in 2011. Opened for applications on February 2, 2011, seventy-nine provinces applied for the program with their projects.
Provinces Preparing for the European Union Programme is financed through the Ministry for EU Affairs’ own resources and built on a model that is similar to the EU grant scheme programs but uses a more flexible methodology. The reason behind this is to ensure a learning process for the provinces concerning the use of the EU funds. The program, which is intended to encompass all the provinces gradually in the upcoming years, is also a concrete indicator of Turkey’s commitment to EU accession process in financial terms.
Another goal of the projects supported within the scope of this program is to spread enthusiasm and motivation about the EU throughout the whole country and raise awareness about Turkey’s EU accession process.
As a result of the Ministry for EU Affairs’ technical and administrative evaluation of these seventy-nine projects, twenty-five provinces were awarded financial assistance within the framework of a total budget of 1,250,000 TL allocated for the year 2011.
Hundreds of Diverse Activities in Twenty-Five Provinces
The twenty-five successful and creative projects were ready to be implemented following the signing ceremony held with the participation of Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Mr. Egemen Bağış, Former Minister of Interior Mr. Osman Güneş, and the governors from awarded provinces. Here are some of the activities from all over Turkey being organized within the context of the program”Provinces Preparing for the European Union”: an “EU Truck” from Van to Bitlis, Hakkari, and Muş; a study field trip to Bulgaria to enhance the cross-border cooperation program in Kırklareli; and an “EU Week” to be organized in Aydın with activities such as inauguration of an EU Park and EU Forest. For detailed information, visit