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28.04.2008A procedure for the election of NGO representatives in the Monitoring Committee of the HRD OP

A procedure for the election of NGO representatives in the Monitoring Committee of the Human resources development Operational program was approved

 

On April 23 and 24, 2008 the Monitoring Committee of the Human Resources Development OP (HRD OP) held its working and second regular meeting, respectively. It approved the Annual report for the advance of the implementation of the HRD OP and the Communication Plan of the Program and authorized the Managing authority to make corrections in the two documents after receiving the comments from the European Commission. A report for the schemes already opened was presented as well as information fro forthcoming operations.

The procedures for the election of NGO observers in the Monitoring committee were discussed and approved during the regular meeting of the Committee. The aim of the procedure is to guarantee and open and transparent mechanism for the participation of the civil society in the process of managing and monitoring the resources from the European Social Fund. The procedure is similar to the one already adopted by the Ministry of Finance regarding the National Strategic Reference Framework. It includes declaration of interest from the NGOs, selection of organizations after certain criteria, and election of a representative among the selected organizations. The procedures target organizations in six fields: protection against discrimination; education; Roma integration, health care; science, and social issues. The procedure will be opened in the forthcoming weeks so that elected candidates could take part in the next meeting of the Monitoring Committee in November.

Center Amalipe was also invited and took active participation in the work of the Monitoring Committee.

During the discussions Deyan Kolev proposed that each group of organizations should elect not only an observer but also a substitute to take part in the meetings of the Monitoring Committee. The idea was supported by the Deputy Minister Dimitar Dimitrov who was also a Chair of the Monitoring Committee. It was accepted with consensus by the members of the Monitoring Committee which provided the non-governmental organizations with twice as higher number as representatives. Deyan Kolev suggested also if two representatives of a group of NGOs receive the same number of votes during the election procedure both of them to be accepted in the MC and participate on rotation principle. This proposal was also accepted although the initial suggestion of the MC was the Committee itself to decide which of the two persons to be included in the MC. This, according to Deyan Kolev would be interference from the side the side of the institutions in the independence of the civil society.

Two other suggestions were not accepted by the members of the MC. The first one was to include the donors as a separate group of organizations. The argument of Deyan Kolev was that the donors have been an important player in the field of social inclusion and the coordination with them would be an important factor for the success of the HRD OP. In addition, if they were not provided with a mechanism for participation they might try to influence the process of social inclusion by influencing the organizations themselves. According to Krassimir Popov (deputy-chair of the MC) however, the donors do not represent the interests of the target groups so they can not be part of the NGOs. They would have other mechanisms for participation in the work of the MC; according to Decree 182/2006 only representatives of non-governmental organizations might participate as observers in the MC.

The second suggestion that was rejected was for the creation of sub-committees in each of the field with NGO representatives. The sub-committees would involve all nominated organizations and would discuss statements to be presented at the meetings of the MC. Mr. Popov pointed that this was a good idea and it would be further regulated by a special decision of the MC. He stresses that such sub-committees would not be needed in all the fields but definitely the Roma integration sphere is a field where the broadest possible participation is needed.

 

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