The European Union and Foreign Relations Office is one of the sub-units of the Governorate of Mugla. The office was established in 2008 with the aim of making the province of Mugla to take part in the projects using EU funds in the process of our country’s accession to the E.U; providing the development of these projects both in quantitative and qualitative respects; sharing knowledge, experience and technologies between our province and EU member cities; following the latest developments in public administration and civil society and thus transferring a European aspect to our province; helping the public bodies, non-governmental organizations and municipalities find project partners and providing technical assistance with the problems encountered in the process of project preparation.
Although the governorate itself is an extensive center, our unit is a relatively small unit with three staff reporting directly to a deputy governor, which gives us flexibility, agility and initiative when compared to the other units under the governorate that are administered with wide hierarchical structures. The staff started working in the unit in 2013 and they took part in a project called VABPro which stands for “Building Capacity for EU Affairs in the Governorates Project”. Most of the major activities conducted by the office consisted of these activities of this ministerial project with a budget of 1.950.000 € until the end of 2014.
Within the scope of this big project, the staff attended an expert training programme and training of trainers programme. As a result of these trainings, they earned the necessary qualifications and have given five “Project Cycle Management” trainings to staff from different institutions in Mugla to build capacity for European affairs within the local institutions. The trainings are given on the basis of six-month intervals and if there is a request from an institution, a training activity is provided for them. The staff also took part in Brussels study visits within this project to see the European decision making institutions on site and to get a better notion of the European Union. Furthermore, as a part of the Town Twinning Programme in the same project, Mugla became twin cities with Castilla La Mancha in Spain and delegations from two cities visited each other to establish mutual cultural, commercial and educational partnerships.
Additionally, the unit provides technical assistance to institutions that wish to apply to grant schemes. We provide consultancy services for their projects and guide them, if they are in need, to prevent mistakes and to get the best possible results from the project at the end.