ACCESS-TR, Mobilizing Local Networks for a Better Informed Dialogue on Turkey’s Accession to the EU

Mobilizing Local Networks for a Better Informed Dialogue on Turkey’s Accession to the EU (ACCESS-TR) was awarded to the Center for European Studies of the Middle East Technical University (CES-METU) by the European Commission under the IPA Information and Communication Programme: Support for actions promoting a better informed public debate about EU Enlargement. The Project is being implemented under the coordination of CES-METU for a 12-month period from November 2008 to November 2009, in partnership with TEPSA (Trans European Policy Studies Association), a transeuropean research network based in Brussels (Belgium). The Project has three associate universities from different cities of Turkey, namely, the Universities of Akdeniz (Antalya), Gaziantep and Ondokuz Mayıs (Samsun). For more information please visit

The overall objectives of the Project are:

  •  To encourage researchers in academia and/or think tanks to promote the dissemination of research results about the benefits and challenges of the preparation for membership
  •  To better equip media professionals in enlargement countries to inform about EU policies, as well as subjects related to the reform process on the way to EU membership, in a user-friendly language and form accessible to the general public or relevant specific audiences

The specific objectives are:

  • To bring research institutions in the EU and in Turkey together with the main stakeholders including local and regional actors with a view to establishing a platform for dialogue
  • To boost the informed debate on political, economic, social and cultural issues characterising the relations between the EU and Turkey
  • To facilitate better knowledge of the EU within Turkey, to enhance the understanding of Turkey within the EU
  • To increase the public awareness of the opportunities and challenges of the Turkish accession to the EU
  • To develop ownership of the accession process on the part of regional and local actors.

ACCESS-TR aims to address these overall and specific objectives through the following four specific themes:

  •  Single Market (sectoral approaches, consumer protection)
  • Gender issues across social protection, education policies and regional development strategies
  • Notions of inclusive citizenship linked to the debates on European citizenship
  • Ways of conducting foreign policy in the European Union

The project aims to reach local governments, municipalities, academic communities, chambers of commerce, business organisations, trade unions, civil society organisations, students, local media and press members, in or near the Turkish cities of Antalya, Samsun and Gaziantep; as well as academic and research communities in Turkey and in Europe working on enlargement and the Turkish membership to the EU.

FROM ISTANBUL TO BRUSSELS: Dialogue on Turkey’s accession to the EU

On 3 and 4 March 2009 TEPSA, in co-operation with the Centre for European Studies (CES) of the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, organised at the Fondation Universitaire in Brussels the Kick-Off Conference of the project “Mobilizing Local Networks for a better informed Dialogue on Turkey’s Accession to the EU” (ACCESS-TR) which aims to promote the active participation of local and regional stakeholders in the process of Turkey’s accession to the EU.

Under the title “From Istanbul to Brussels: Dialogue on Turkey’s Accession to the EU” the Kick-Off Conference gathered in Brussels a number of key multipliers of the ACCESS-TR project and its outreach and brought them together with representatives of the European Institutions, civil society, diplomatic missions, media and stakeholders of Turkish interest representations in Brussels. By this TEPSA and CES seek to obtain sustainable partnerships after the end of the project. For further information please contact Anne Schmidt ([at]