The “Active Civil Society Participation in EU Accession Talks” (Sivilog) Project conducted by Turkey Europe Foundation in collaboration with European Network of NGOs (ENNA) ended with a meeting titled “10 Years with EU, new Phase and NGOs” on January 13, 2016 in Istanbul.
The project coordinator Rana Birden Çorapçıoğlu started the meeting by explaining the project process and their experiences during its implementation. She mentioned that their aim was to strengthen the civil society participation in the EU membership process and to create opportunities for a dialogue atmosphere in which perspectives in the direction of the EU process and civil society relations could be shared.
Afterwards, the “10 years with EU, Financial Aids, Civil Society Participation Report” was presented. The report which is a compilation of studies performed by NGOs on the path to EU is considered as a best practices booklet.
Panelists discussed the subject from the perspectives of public, academia and civil society during the panel titled “10 Years with EU and Expectations from the Next Phase”.
Ministry for EU Affairs Project Implementation Director Bülent Özcan mentioned that EU grants helped NGOs to increase their capacities and diversity and significant achievements were obtained from the projects in the past. He said that they would move forward with 80 projects developed in collaboration between NGOs from Turkey and Europe under the new phase of the Civil Society Dialogue. He also added that civil society networks would be supported in 2016 and new approaches to improve the public-NGO relations would be adopted through sharing the new strategy document with the NGOs.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Senem Aydın Düzgit from Bilgi University International Relations Department, mentioned that new methods in the framework of EU relations should be put into practice in the next phase and changing dynamics should be taken into account while continuing projects.
Economic Development Foundation’s General Secretary Melih Özsöz expained how the EU Progress Reports should be interpreted and emphasized the importance of taking steps to resolve concerns mentioned in political criteria and to increase compliance levels.
The meeting ended with a question-answer session and Bülent Özcan stated that they tried to prevent NGOs from facing bureaucracy and he believed that public-NGO relations would improve more in the new phase.
For more information about the project, please visit http://civilsocietydialogue.org/project/sivil-toplumun-ab-muzakere-surecine-aktif-katilimi/