Turkish and EU local authorities met in an introductory meeting held in Ankara from February 1st 2011 to February 4th 2011 to help increase the effectiveness and broaden the scope of the twinning arrangements both between the local authorities of Turkey and Europe as well as among Turkish local authorities. The meeting hosted a total of 48 government officials, two from each of 10 Turkish and 15 other European local authorities of twin cities, meeting to improve co-operation in the management of local public and municipal services.
The meeting within the scope of the Support to Further Implementation of Local Administration Reform in Turkey Project was inaugurated with the remarks of the representatives from EU Delegation to Turkey (Mr. Michele Villani), UNDP Turkey, UMT (Union of Municipalities of Turkey), Ministry of Interior and Central Finance and Contracts Unit (CFCU).
Knowledge and Italian participation to this event was spread in Italy through ALDA, the Association of Local Democracies Agencies, which was guested as international observer and which is implementing lobby?ng activities for the Italian Municipalities in the Republic of Turkey.
After the presentation by UMT of the twinning methodology, the programme continued with answers to the questions regarding the procedures.
It was followed by the presentations of the experiences of EU and Turkish local authorities.
Finally, some facilitated workshops between EU and Turkish municipalities were held on four themes, namely, environmental protection and energy efficiency; tourism and culture; municipal services (ie. social services including gender, elderly care and children, urban transportation, urban planning, emergency management, fire brigade systems, immigrants etc.); and local economic development with citizen participation.
EU and Turkish local authorities will further plan for mutual visits with their twinning partners to broaden the scope of twinning agreements and collaboration, which sprouted during the meetings.
Support to further implementation of Local Administration Reform in Turkey Project is being implemented by the Ministry of Interior with the technical assistance of the UNDP and funded by the European Union within the scope of the EU-Turkey Pre-Accession Financial Co-Operation Programme.
The specific objective of the project is to develop and strengthen the administrative capacity and co-operation of the Ministry of Interior (particularly General Directorate of Local Authorities, governorates and district governorates), unions of local authorities and local authorities themselves in the task of ensuring effective implementation of new policy and legislation on local administration.