|New legal and institutional frameworks are being developed in Turkey within urban and regional contexts. In addition to the recent legal adjustments concerning local government schemes, a new legal framework for the development of urban and regional institutions, namely Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), has recently been established in the quest to adapt the EU regional policy areas. Establishing Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), along with supporting legal and institutional frameworks is expected to strengthen the adaptation and integration processes.|
In Turkey, regional development projects toward selected and mostly less developed territories have been prepared by the State Planning Organization (SPO) within the context of National Development Plans. Following the recent definition of NUTS levels in 2002, the need arised for new urban and regional management frameworks in the NUTS regions for achieving development, managing regional policy and adapting to EU. The SPO has established local headquarters, which will eventually be Regional Development Agencies for 26 new NUTS II regions defined in Turkey. Currently the establishment of four temporary local headquarters in NUTS II regions are taking place, and EU funded regional development projects play significant roles in initiating these developments . The major aim of the headquarters is to coordinate the collaboration between local governments and provincial administrations for the ongoing development projects and potential establishment of RDAs. In addition, the SPO prepared and passed a legislation for the formation of RDAs. This legislation defines RDAs’ establishment, coordination and activities.
The proposed paper will be an evaluation of the institutional implications of the RDAs, with a particular emphasis on the recent legislation,i.e. dated January 25, 2006, which is expected to accelerate the further developments that can be effective in overcoming problems regarding to urban and regional development and integration, while enabling cooperation and coordination among local governments and provincial administrations in various cities that co-exist in NUTS regions. The legislation will also constitute a significant step toward Turkey’s integration into EU regional policies. In order for Turkey to test her connection to EU regional policy areas, this legal and institutional scheme will provide an invaluable framework, and should be studied meticulously on any platform that attempts to tackle the issue of integration.