About Jean Monnet Scholars’ Association
Jean Monnet Scholars are the young Turkish people who have done Masters in the EU countries with the aim of facilitating Turkey’s integration to the EU and strengthening the relations between Turkey and the European Union. Since 1990, around 2500 scholars were awarded the EU funded Jean Monnet Scholarship within the context of the agreement signed between MFA and the EU commission. Between the years 1990-2002, Jean Monnet Scholarship Program which was implemented in line with the MEDA II program with the aim of enhancing human resources in EU related fields and supporting Turkey’s efforts to join the EU, after this period started to be has been implemented according to the accession negotiations.
Scholars received graduate education in an EU member country on all the chapters from Energy and environment, Justice and Home Affairs to Security and Defense, Agriculture to Structural Cohesion. Scholars mostly received Post-Doctorate research, MPhil, MSc, MA LLM, DEA. At the past MBA degrees were obtained. During their studies in relevant fields, JM Scholars learn about
- EU policies, main mechanisms and institutions
- How the EU acquis communitaire are applied in member countries
- Pre and Post accession process of candidate countries
- Mechanisms to guard national specifications and differences during EU integration.
Moreover, scholars have the opportunity to learn the social structure of the EU countries they go to and interact with the people of those countries, mostly England, the Netherlands, Belgium. Therefore, scholars have personal networks with many units and people, mainly in the universities they received education from.
Scholars from the public sector, universities or private sector especially the ones from public sector have been working on Customs Union and EU related positions with important functions in the screening and negotiation processes.
To be able to use their potentials more effectively, JM scholars founded the Jena Monnet Alumni Association (JMAA) on September 23, 2005 in Ankara, gaining legal body. The Association aims to actively to provide technical assistance to Turkey’s integration to the EU in the local, national, member-candidate country, and EU levels. Since most of the scholars reside in İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir and other cities and outside Turkey, to facilitate the initial procedures of founding, the Association was created by 21 founding members. Moreover, an active communication network of almost 400 scholars and communication groups in İzmir and İstanbul were composed in the pre-organization process. All scholars are considered to be “natural members” during the studies of the Association and that is why communication network and sub-groups are anticipated to be involved. Both the scholars in the network and the Association members are increasing with time.
In the first 6 months the Association completed functions such as institutionalizing, generating working experience, enhancing communication between scholars. At the general meeting of April 1, 2006 executive and supervisory committees to work in the following two years were determined and task distribution of the Executive Committee was made. Upon the notification of the said meeting to the Governorship of Ankara, JMSA was officially formed.
On December 1, 2006, at the meeting which was realized with various contributions of many scholars, the JMSA decided to prioritize technical studies to help create Turkey’s policies for coherence with the acquis communitaire during the accession talks against the background of national interest, needs and facilities. For this, we aim to create national synergy by organizing workshops that include relevant sectors and using the knowledge of the scholars.
Another activity that was planned; project work on how Turkey is perceived in the EU communities. With this activity we plan to contribute to enhancing the civil society/NGO dialogue and also we hope to identify the negative impressions of Turkey-Turkish people in the eyes of the EU countries, the reason for these misconceptions and do various activities through historical-cultural, socio-economic modules.
JMSA are actively involved in 3 EU funded Civil Society Dialog and Capacity Building Projects. One project is related to Turkey’s future Custom Union extension in Agriculture and Service sectors.
There are no restraints on the Association activities since EU related subjects cover a wide spectrum. In the following periods activities in different fields can be done. For this purpose, there is always the opportunity for the scholars to apply to the Association administration through the form to be submitted to the Executive Committee. This will enable scholars to present activity proposals in a systematic way and receive assistance for the activities to be done.
Now, the alumni are reached 2500 people. We are glad to have such a big and eminent network to materialize our development goals.
Jean Monnet Scholars’ Association