PREVIOUS EU-TURKEY CHAMBER CO-OPERATION PROJECTS

The Turkey-EU Business Dialogue project builds upon the results of the previous Chamber Dialogue projects which started with the Turkish Chamber Development Programme (TCDP I & II) in 2001 as part of the EU’s Civil Society Development Programme. This programme was followed by the EU-Turkey Chambers Forum projects (ETCF-I and II) which were implemented from 2007 to 2009 and from 2012 to 2014.

TURKISH CHAMBERS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (TCDP I & II)

The Turkish Chambers Development Programme (TCDP) was launched in 2001 as part of the EU’s Civil Society Development Programme and implemented successfully by EUROCHAMBRES and TOBB. Through the establishment of sustainable partnerships between selected Chambers, both from Turkey and from the EU, the project aimed at strengthening the role of Turkish Chambers in their activities to enhance the internationalization of Turkish enterprises, as well as their role as key players in local development.

In the first phase of the project 10 partnerships between EU and Turkish Chambers were successfully implemented. In the second phase, six of the existing partnerships were extended by introducing additional Turkish Chambers and five new partnerships were established.

Technical assistance was provided to allow these partnerships to develop and implement joint projects, with the emphasis mainly on introducing new as well as innovative services within the Turkish Chambers. The two phases of the TCDP project highlighted the crucial role that Chambers can and should play in the overall process of preparing businesses for the international market and enhancing their competitiveness.

EU-TURKEY CHAMBERS FORUM (ETCF I & II)

The EU-Turkey Chambers Forum (ETCF I & II) projects were implemented between 2007 and 2014 by EUROCHAMBRES in cooperation with TOBB. These projects sought to strengthen the mutual knowledge, dialogue and long-term co-operation between the Turkish Chambers and their EU counterparts, and thus to promote the integration of EU and Turkish business communities, as well as to increase awareness of the potential opportunities and challenges that would be created by Turkey’s accession to the EU – both in Turkey and in the EU.

ECTF I (2007-2009) supported the development of expertise within the Turkish Chamber Network expertise on EU-related issues. Turkish chambers were supported to follow the relevant legislative changes in Turkey in order to facilitate the effective implementation of requirements related to the ‘EU acquis’. This project enhanced the capacity of Turkish Chambers to design and implement valuable services to their members by benchmarking with their EU counterparts and benefiting from their know-how.

ECTF II (2012-2014) supported the implementation of activities aimed at improving the knowledge of Turkish Chambers on EU legislation and policies (two surveys on the perspective of the business community towards EU-Turkey relations; a training programme on EU affairs for Turkish Chamber executives; and an audit of Turkish companies on their compliance with the EU acquis), as well as activities aimed at enhancing the abilities of Turkish Chambers to develop and provide valuable services to their members by bench-marking with their European counterparts and benefiting from their know-how (scholarships for EUROCHAMBRES Academies; study visits in the EU; and partnerships between Chambers from Turkey and the EU).

The successful implementation of these projects has enhanced the debate on Turkey’s EU membership within the business communities in the EU as well as in Turkey. Moreover, it has supported Turkish companies in their efforts to adapt themselves to the ongoing economic integration process, and it has also helped companies from both the EU and Turkey to benefit from business opportunities in each other’s markets.