A Circular has been published in Turkey, outlining distribution of tasks between governmental institutions for 2014 to 2020, as well as principles for managing financial assistance given to European Union candidate countries. Accordingly, European Union financial assistance must be spent towards the purposes of the Instrument for Pre-Accession ("IPA"). The financial assistance must be used to support political, institutional, judicial, administrative, social and economic reforms in Turkey, in order to comply with European Union values, standards, policies and the implications of becoming a full member. The Circular Regarding Management of Pre-Accession Funds Given By the European Union ("Circular") was published in Official Gazette number 29556 on 8 December 2015.

The first period of the IPA ran from 2007 to 2013. A framework agreement was signed in February 2015 for the 2014-2020 period. Financial aid for this second period amounts to €4.5 billion, which will be used primarily in nine specified areas.

Responsibility for policy areas is allocated under the Circular as follows, with each institution required to follow the European Union's principles of transparency and visibility:

  • With regard to preparation for Union membership:

    • The Ministry of the European Union is responsible for democracy and governance.
    • The Ministry of Justice is responsible for rule of law and fundamental rights
    • Either the Ministry of the European Union or Ministry of Interior are responsible for sub-sectors.
  • With regard to socio-economic and regional development:

    • The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization is responsible for environment and climate action.
    • The Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication is responsible for the transport sector.
    • The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources is responsible for the energy sector.
    • The Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology is responsible for competitiveness and innovation.
  • The Ministry of Labor and Social Security is responsible for education, employment and social policies, including matters related to employment, social policies, education, promotion of gender equality, and human resources development.
  • The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock as well as the Agency for Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance in Rural Development are responsible for agriculture and rural development.

According to the Circular, multi-year programs should be prepared for employment, social policies, education, promotion of gender equality, and human resources development, as well as agriculture and rural development. Annual programs are envisioned for other policy areas.

The Anti-Fraud Coordinating System is established to research, examine and investigate expenditure of funds, including a coordination board and three monitoring committees.

Each responsible institutions must prepare an evaluation of operations in the relative sector or sub-sectors. The National Pre-Accession Assistance Coordinator submits a country evaluation plan to the European Committee, made up of these sector evaluations.

Please see this link for the full text of the Circular (only available in Turkish).

Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.