The main goal of the EU financial assistance to Turkey, is to enhance the institutional capacity, the quality of legislation, the quality of implementation of the legislation so as to make it possible to integrate easily to common policies (like social policies, development, rural policies) when she become a full member of EU.

After the full membership negotiations began in October 2005, there has been a substantial increase in TR-EU financial assistance budget.

Later on, with the 2007-2013 budget period, the mechanisms of financial assistance of EU to candidate and potential candidate countries are consolidated into a single instrument which is called Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).

Candidate countries and potential candidate countries are the beneficiaries of IPA mechanism. Although 4,8 Billion is allocated to Turkey for 2007-2013, in comparison with the population, the fund allocated to Turkey cannot be considered as sufficient but Turkey is trying to utilize these funds with maximum effort. For 2007-2013, EU fund provided to Turkey under IPA is €66 per capita which is €171 for Bosnia & Herzegovina and €378 for Montenegro.


Country Fund(2007-2013) (Million Euro) Population-2006 Per Capita Percentage
Croatia* 998 4.443.000 225 10,0%
Macedonia 615 2.039.000 302 6,2%
Turkey 4795 72.520.000 66 48,2%
Albania 595 3.149.000 189 6,0%
Bosnia Herzegovina 656 3.843.000 171 6,6%
Montenegro 236 624.000 378 2,4%
Serbia 1386 7.425.000 187 13,9%
Kosovo 635 2.070.000 307 6,4%
Iceland** 30 0,3%
TOTAL 10.126.855.127 96.113.000 104 100,0%

Table 1. The allocation of 2007-2013 IPA funds between candidate and potential candidate countries.

*Croatia has become an EU member state since July, 2013.

**Iceland has been receiving financial assistance since 2011.


The issues like the allocation of funds between candidate and potential candidate countries and the components of financial cooperation are determined solely by EU side but on the other hand, the methods of the allocation of funds between components within Turkey, programming and implementation of the components, monitoring of the projects are determined through negotiations between Turkey and EU by also taking the specific conditions of Turkey into consideration.

Therefore, in IPA-I period Multi-annual Indicative Planning Document (MIPD), which specifies the priorities of the components, was published as a result of a joint process in which Turkey and EU sides are both included.  The document was based on 3-year periods but revised annually.

The areas in which EU funded projects can be developed were broader in the former programming years but in 2011-2013 period, it was intended to focus on the priority areas specified in 2011-2013 MIPD. The aim of this new approach was to make the results of the projects more visible and effective.

Besides, another objective of the new approach was to enhance the portion of Turkey’s share from the pre-accession funds in the 2014-2020 budget of EU, by implementing projects that have more tangible and visible results. At this point, taking into account of the performance of our country in the 2007-2012 era, it is obvious that there was enough capacity of Turkey for the enhancement of her share.

Within the preparation process for the 2014-2020 period of the Turkey-EU Financial Cooperation, efforts have been made in order to be more pro-active in the decision making process.

In IPA-I period, main components of the financial assistance have been Transition Assistance and Institution Building, Cross Border Cooperation, Regional Development, Human Resources Development and Rural Development.



2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 TOTAL
Transition Assistance and Institution Building 256,7 256,1 239,6 217,8 231,3 227,5 238,5 1.667,5
Cross-border Cooperation 2,1 2,9 3,0 3,1 5,1 2,2 2,2 20,6
Regional Development 167,5 173,8 182,7 238,1 293,4 356,1 366,9 1.778,4
Human Resources Development 50,2 52,9 55,6 63,4 77,6 83,2 91,2 474,1
Rural Development 20,7 53,0 85,5 131,3 172,5 187,4 204,2 854,6
TOTAL: 497,2 538,7 566,4 653,7 779,9 856,3 903,0 4.795,2

Table 2: IPA funds allocated to TR by components (Million Euro) 


Transition Assistance and Institution Building Component (First Component)

Being one of the most important components of IPA, Transition Assistance and Institution Building component is open only to the central management authorities’ usage. Acquis alignment, public administration reform, justice and home affairs reforms, civil society development and fundamental rights, environment policy, education and health system reform and financial control topics are the main focus of this component. Moreover, third and fourth component issues such as employment, transport, environment, energy, education could be evaluated under the course of this component as a complementary tool of the investment projects.

Furthermore, funds under this component are also being used for supporting the participation of our country to the Union Programmes and Agencies. Since 2006, our country participates to the Union Programmes that have the goals such as maintenance of the partnership consciousness, innovativeness and entrepreneurship understanding by way of improving the communication and cooperation among countries, support to the creation of future policies of the Union and finding common solutions to the challenges that the Union faces. Citizens, civil society organisations, enterprises, public institutions have the opportunity to participate to the Union Programmes, and these programmes also contribute to the efforts in the EU integration process.

Since the IPA became operative as of 2007, more than 70 public institutions, from Turkish Armed Forces to Social Services and Child Protection Agency, from Turkey Municipalities Association to the Constitutional Court, have offered projects in relevant fields. This situation represents the obvious attention of our institutions to the Turkey-EU Financial Cooperation system and generally to the EU accession process.


Cross Border Cooperation Component (Second Component)

For Turkey, Cross Border Cooperation Component is as a preparation for the implementation of European Regional Development Fund to be used after the membership.  Our country is participating in Bulgaria – Turkey IPA Cross Border Cooperation Programme and European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) Black Sea Basin Cross Border Cooperation Programme under this component.

Regional Development Component (Third Component)

The third component, which has characteristics of preparation for the structural funds to be used after the membership, consists of Environment, Transport and Regional Competitiveness Operational Programmes. Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications  and Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology are responsible for the mentioned operational programmes respectively.

Under the Environment Operational Programme, environmental protection, improving living standards for the population in the context of environment, wastewater treatment, providing qualified drinking water supply, construction of integrated solid waste services,

Under the Transport Operational Programme, improving the transportation infrastructure considering safety and intermodality on future TEN-T Network, while maintaining an efficient and a balanced transportation system,

Under the Regional Competitiveness Operational Programme, programmes in very crucial and strategic areas are being accomplished such as increasing competitiveness of our country’s economy and reducing regional socio-economic disparities.

Human Resources Development (Fourth Component)

Aim of the Human Resources Development Component is to prepare European Social Fund within the scope of European Employment Strategy and Lisbon Strategy while building up the structures and systems with that purpose. In the meantime, it is foreseen to pay attention to the principles of the Union such as employment, gender equality, social inclusion and education. “Human Resources Development Operational Programme” coordinated by Ministry of Labour and Social Security, aims to strengthen human capital and enhance employment capacity in the regions that per capita income is lower than the 75% of Turkey average. Operational Programme has the main priorities employment, education and social inclusion.

With the priority of employment; increasing the involvement of especially women and young people in employment is aimed. Under this priority, raising public awareness in terms of participation to employment through education and vocational education is among the other purposes.

With the priority of education; increasing the quality of education, increasing the amount of investment to human resources through raising the level of education for especially girls and people of all ages, and strengthening the educational bonds through labour market is aimed.

In accordance with the priority of social inclusion; facilitating the accessibility of disadvantaged people to labour market and social protection, and encouraging a labour market whose social inclusion is high through the removal of barriers hindering the accessibility of labour market is aimed.


Rural Development (Fifth Component)

Within the framework of Rural Development component; financial support to the enterprises operating in agriculture, husbandry, nourishment, fishery and alternative agricultural fields, productive individuals, cooperatives, and production associations through grant schemes is anticipated. The delivery of funds allocated in this respect aims to build capacity to enable sustainable development taking the pre-accession priorities and needs of Turkey in to consideration. The funds will be allocated according to the priority axes which are defined according to the Programme of Rural Development (IPARD) approved in 25 February 2008 by European Commission, aiming to raise the standards of agricultural enterprises to Union standards.

IPARD differs from other four components with its various characters. In this component, full authority over use of funds is being conferred upon Institution for Supporting Rural and Agricultural Development (TKDK), which is established by our country. Moreover, different from other components, profit making companies and individuals can benefit from this component.

Within the framework of the Rural Development Component, budget allocated for the years 2007 and 2013 is demonstrating a dramatic increase. 5th Component, which comprised 4% of the EU contribution with 21 Million Euros in 2007, covers 23% of the budget in 2013. Within the scope of the Rural Development Component, expected total EU contribution between the years 2007 and 2013 is 874 Million Euros.



Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) second period covering 2014-2020 will be implemented in the framework of Turkey’s targets which are capacity development in terms of EU acquis alignment andeconomical and social cohesion.

European Commission has introduced the sectoral approach in the new period for the effective utilization of funds. Within the framework of this sectoral approach, instead of the components based structure at the first period of IPA,some priority sectors to be financed and the responsible lead institutions to conduct the sectoral preparations have been identified.

Reference documents which set the legal basis for IPA II:

–          IPA II Regulation was published on 15 March 2014

–          Rules of Application was published on 3 May 2014

The main document of this new period indicating the financing priorities of assistance under IPA is the Indicative Strategy Paper for Turkey (2014-2020), which was adopted by the Commission on 26 August 2014.

The total allocation for Turkey under IPA II for 7 years amounts to 4.453,9 MEUR, as stated in the Country Strategy Paper.  The details of the allocated budget are given in the below table.


Turkey 2014 2015 2016 2017  Total 2018-2020  Total 2014-2020 Of which climate change relevant (%)
a. Reforms in preparation for Union membership 355.1 196.6 240.3 137.2 652.2 1,581.4  
Democracy and governance 540.2 416.3 956.5  
Rule of law and fundamental rights 388.9 236.0 624.9  
b. Socio-economic and Regional development 155.8 265.8 247.0 261.4 595.3 1,525.3
Environment and climate action 297.1 347.5 644.6 70%
Transport 386.0 56.8 442.8 60%
Energy 59.0 34.4 93.5 70%
Competitiveness and innovation 187.8 156.6 344.4 10%
c. Employment, social policies, education, promotion of gender equality, and human resources development 37.4 62.9 65.9 68.9 199.9 435.0  
Education, employment and social  policies 235.1 199.9 435.0  
d. Agriculture and rural development  72.0 100.9 77.0 158.1 504.2 912.2
Agriculture and rural development 408.0 504.2 912.2 10%
TOTAL 620.4 626.4 630.8 636.4 1,940.0 4,453.9  

Table 3: Policy Areas and Sector Based Indicative Allocation


The priority sectors and the lead beneficiaries as identified for IPA II period:

Democracy and Governance (Ministry for EU Affairs)(Alignment with EU acquis, Union Programmes and Civil Society)

Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights, (Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior and   Ministry for EU Affairs)

Environment, (Ministry of Environment and Urbanization)

  • Transport, (Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications)
  • Energy, (Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources)
  • Competitiveness and Innovation (Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology)
  • Employment, Human Resources Development and Social Policies, (Ministry of Labor and Social Security)
  • Agriculture and Rural Development, (Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock)
  • Territorial Cooperation (Ministry for EU Affairs)

Programming process of 2014 allocation, after being studied with the relevant institutions and the Commission, has been finalised and the programming documents were submitted to the European Commission.

In this way, 1,9 MEUR out of 4,5 billion EUR, which is the total country allocation has already been programmed. The implementation of the programmes will be carried out once the relevant Financing Agreements are signed and entered into force.

The preparatory studies for the Prime Ministry Circular which will be the legal basis of the structure in IPA II period in Turkey continues.

On the other hand, programming process of 255 MEUR of 2015 budgetary year is going on.

Source:  More information is avalable at that link.