Purpose, Content and History of Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme.
During our country’s negotiation process for full membership to the European Union, important responsibilities fall upon every segment of the society from public institutions to the private sector, and from non-governmental organizations to the universities. For this reason, there is a need for individuals who can closely follow and are specialized on EU-related issues from different segments of the society. In accordance with this need, the Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme, a project funded by the European Union (EU), aims to increase the number of experts in the EU field and support Turkey’s administrative capacity building efforts for the effective implementation of EU acquis within the framework of Turkey’s negotiation process for full membership to the EU.
The Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme began in the 1990-1991 academic year by providing its first scholars educational opportunities in the EU member countries. . It is one of Turkey’s most long running projects.
Over the course of nearly 23 years, the Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme was implemented in 3 different phases as it is summarized below. The aim of the programme has evolved in line with the developments in Turkey-EU relations.
During the initial implementation period of the Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme between 1990 and 2002, the aim of the programme was to increase the existing knowledge and experience in Turkey regarding the European integration, and to support the human resources qualified on these subjects.
Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme, started under an agreement signed between Turkey and the European Commission and was financed from the special action funds created by the European Council in 1979 and other commitments made in 1993 and 1995-1996. In 1997, the European Commission and the Republic of Turkey decided to continue and extend the Financing Agreement until 31 December 2001 from the funds of the Mediterranean Development Assistance Programme (MEDA).
The first phase of Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme was implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Commission Turkish Delegation; and 442 young Turkish scholars from various public agencies, private organizations and universities completed their postgraduate studies during these 12 academic years.
In 1999 Helsinki Summit, Turkey became a candidate country for EU accession. Therefore, the objective of the programme has changed and apart from enhancing the level of knowledge in Turkey about the EU in general, the Programme’s objective has become to increase acquis specific knowledge in Turkey.
In this second phase, The European Commission and the Government of the Republic of Turkey signed a Financing Agreement for the ‘Continuation and Enlargement of the Programme of Jean Monnet Scholarship for Postgraduate Students’ and under MEDA II Programme the European Commission allocated 10 million Euro for the continuation of the Programme in Turkey.
The second phase of Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme was implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Delegation of the European Commission to Turkey and 357 persons benefited from it. Because of the increase in the budget allocated to the Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme especially after 2003, a significant increase has been observed in the number of scholars. In this phase, the programme was managed by a Placement Agency in order to ensure its smooth running.
By the power vested from Final Decleration of Brussel Summit which is comprise of Foreign Relations Council and EU General Affairs Council, Turkish- EU Framework Agreement was approved and Accession Negotiations started for Turkey. This development played an important role in reshaping of the Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme.
Within the framework of Turkey’s negotiation process for full membership to the EU, the objectives of the Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme are increasing the number of experts in the EU field and supporting Turkey’s administrative capacity building efforts for the effective implementation of the EU acquis.,
Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme is now being conducted by the Ministry for EU Affairs, in cooperation with the Central Finance and Contracts Unit and the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey.
The application and evaluation process of Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme is in under the responsibility of the Central Finance and Contracts Unit. The Central Finance and Contracts Unit is also the contracting authority of the Scholarship Programme. The scholarship agreements are signed between the Central Finance and Contracts Units and the scholars.
The Ministry for EU Affairs is the implementing authority responsible for the effective conduct of the Scholarship Programme. The Ministry for EU Affairs is responsible for the announcement and promotion of the Scholarship Programme, placement of scholars to suitable education programmes, monitoring of the scholars during and after their education, provision of all types of support for the scholars and establishment of sustainable communication channels with the scholars.
The Ministry for EU Affairs and the Central Finance and Contract Unit conduct all of the above mentioned activities together with the support and cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey.