The opening ceremony of the Civil Society Support Programme (CSSP) was held on 8 January 2019 in Ankara, Turkey and was supported by a large number of senior figures, including Ambassador Faruk Kaymakcı, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director for European Union Affairs; Ambassador Christian Berger, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Turkey; and Mr. Mehmet Selim Uslu, Director of Central Finance and Contracts Unit; as well as ambassadors and representatives of public bodies.
After welcoming the audience of around 300 people, representing public organisations and leading civil society organisations (CSOs) from across the country, Ambassador Kaymakcı then turned the ceremony into a much wider interactive event by introducing an online survey that attracted a large number of participants. The results of the survey showed that 91% of the participants supported Turkish membership of the EU and thought that the EU would have a positive influence in such areas as democracy/human rights, visa applications/freedom of movement and living standards. Although 92% of the participants did not believe that the EU would accept Turkey’s membership under current circumstances, 54% believed Turkey would eventually succeed in gaining membership.
Just after the ceremony, grant implementation training for beneficiaries under the Grassroots CSOs Grant Scheme began, involving 38 CSOs from all over the country. This training lasted two and a half days and covered not only project implementation, but also networking events, during which participants dined together, shared experiences and enjoyed some musical entertainment.
Summary of the Civil Society Support Programme
WEglobal is implementing the Civil Society Support Programme on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Directorate for EU Affairs, as part of the civil society sub-sector of the Instrument for Pre-Accession, an EU programme that provides funding and support for candidate countries and potential candidate countries as they prepare for closer integration with the EU.
The programme aims to strengthen the effective participation of CSOs in decision-making mechanisms, to enhance cooperation between civil society and the public sector, and to improve the administrative, advocacy and communication capacities of CSOs.
Two grant schemes operate within the CSSP: “Partnerships and Networks” with a total budget of approximately 4,300,000 Euros; and “Grassroots Civil Society Organisations”, which has a total budget of approximately 2,100,000 Euros and involves 48 grant beneficiaries.
For more details, please visit www.siviltoplumsektoru.org