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  • Pre-Accession Strategy for Turkey
  • Priority Areas Between 2004-2006
  • Community Programmes Open to Turkey

Pre-Accession Strategy for Turkey

  • Until 2002 Turkey had received support under the MEDA programme and through two regulations to support the customs union and economic and social development. For the period to 1999 the key aim of assistance to Turkey had been to accompany the process of structural reform, as for other Mediterranean partners.
  • Following the Helsinki European Council in 1999, a pre-accession orientation was introduced to the financial assistance programmes with Turkey.
  • Assistance continued to be available for structural adjustment, in co-ordination with the international financial institutions, but assistance also began to focus on institution building, investment, and supporting the participation of Turkey in Community programmes and agencies.
  • The Council adopted on 17 December 2001 a regulation concerning pre-accession financial assistance for Turkey. The regulation reiterated the Commissions objective to establish pre-accession financial assistance, on average, at an annual level of 177 million.
  • In its Strategy Paper of 2002, the Commission envisaged that total assistance should be substantially increased, taking into account Turkeys needs and absorptive capacity. The Copenhagen conclusions confirmed that from 2004 this assistance would be financed under the pre-accession expenditure heading of the 2000-2006 financial perspectives. The Commission has adopted on 12 February 2003 a proposal to this effect in COM(2003)70 of 11.02.2003 and transmitted it to the Budget Authority.
Priority areas between 2004-2006
  • During the period 2004-2006 pre-accession financial assistance will focus on supporting Turkeys efforts to meet the Copenhagen criteria, with special attention to the political criteria and in particular to strengthening institutional capacity and investment related to the adoption of the acquis. Assistance will also be available for improving the functioning of Turkeys economy and its capacity to cope with competitive pressure within the internal market. Cross-border co-operation with EU Member States and candidate countries will also be promoted.
  • As for all candidate countries, assistance will fall under two main headings:
    1. institution building
    2. investment

1: Institution building will take the form of assistance to help Turkey to implement the acquis and to prepare for participation in EU policies such as economic and social cohesion. In this area support may be made available to public authorities at central, regional and local level. Institution building support will mainly be deployed and implemented with Member States through the instrument of twinning. Assistance will also be given to support organisations which will have an important role in helping prepare for accession and implement the acquis (e.g. organisations involved in the social dialogue such as employers federations, and trades unions, as well as professional organisations such as chambers of commerce and agriculture, and other representative bodies). Non-governmental organisations could also benefit from assistance with a view to supporting initiatives aimed at the consolidation and further development of democratic practices, the rule of law, human rights, equality for women and men and the protection of minorities.

2: Investment will take two forms. First, there may be investment to establish or to strengthen the regulatory infrastructure needed to ensure compliance with the acquis and direct, acquis-related investments. Investment in the regulatory infrastructure will only be made on the basis of a clear-cut government strategy supported as necessary by institution building. Second, part of the assistance programme will be directed towards investment in economic and social cohesion, taking into account the importance of regional disparities between Turkish regions as well as the gap between Turkeys national income and the EU average.

  • The revised Accession Partnership will provide the basis for programming pre-accession assistance; priorities for assistance will also be drawn from the Regular Reports and Turkeys national programme for the adoption of the acquis. In these reports, special attention will be drawn to the political criteria. A number of priority areas can already be identified, such as justice and home affairs including migration, maritime safety, the environment, health, agriculture and rural development.
  • A significant increase in funding will also allow the EU to support socio-economic development in Turkey, as it relates to the goals of the accession strategy. The existing instrument providing pre-accession financial assistance for Turkey [1] [1] can support programmes in all these areas, including investment in transport and environmental infrastructure and in rural development programmes.
  • In order to facilitate the full devolution of implementation, Turkey will need to take further measures to ensure sound financial control. It is therefore expected that the Decentralised Implementation System will be operational from 1 June 2003.
  • The Commission considers that it would be useful at this stage to indicate the level of financial assistance for Turkey over the next three years. The amounts concerned, which will need to be approved through the annual budgetary procedure, are set out in the following table:





Pre-accession financial assistance for Turkey

million,current prices





Community Programmes Open to Turkey

The following are the Community programmes in which Turkish organizations can participate:

1. In the area of research:

Sixth Framework Programme (2002-2006)

2. In the area of health:

New Public Health Programme (2001-2006)

European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction

3. In the area of Employment and Social Affairs:

Combating Discrimination EQUAL (2001-2006)

Gender Equality (2001-2005)

Combating Social Exclusion (2001-2005)

Incentive Measures in Employment

4. In the area of Technical Cooperation:

IDA II- Administrative Cooperation Programme

5. In the area of Education:

Leonardo Da Vinci In-service Training (2000-2006)

Socrates Education (2000-2006)

Youth Activities for Young People (2000-2006)

6. In the area of Environment:

European Environment Agency

7. In the area of Entrepreneurship:

Multi-annual programme for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship (2001-2003)

8. In the area of Information Society:

E-content Support to Digital Content and Linguistic Diversity in the European Information Society (2001-2005)

9. In the area of Customs:

Customs 2007

These programmes(1) offer a huge window of opportunity for Turkish companies and organisations not only to receive funding for their programmes but also to establish links and network with their EU partners. 

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