22.07.2009Seminar on European funds and Roma

How the present calls for proposals within Rural Regions Development Program and Human Resources Development Operational Program could foster Roma integration? This was the main topic discussed during the seminar “Platform for project generation – first assessment and perspectives for development”. It took place on July 17 and 18 in Lyaskovetz and was organized by Center Amalipe and Open Society Institute – Sofia.
The participants defined as most urgent issue the incorporation of Roma experts and Roma NGOs in the Local Initiative Groups (LIG) that will be create within the LEADER approach of Rural Regions Development Program. The deadline for their creation is September 4. Every LIG requires public-private partnership among municipal administration, local business and NGOs. Every LIG approved will receive 2 million euro for small projects that improve the quality of life in given municipality. The seminar participants agreed that incorporating Roma experts and Roma NGOs in LIG is a certain precondition for implementing small projects for improving quality of life in Roma neighborhoods and villages. Concrete steps for ensuring this incorporation were marked.
The forthcoming call for proposals for minority educational integration within 4.1. measure of Human Resources Development Operational Program is another good opportunity. The participants defined main types of projects that could be prepared within this call in order to improve quality of education of Roma kids.
During the last session a brainstorming for possible calls for proposals within Human Resources Development OP was organized. These ideas will be developed in details and will be proposed to the Monitoring Committee of HRD OP: Roma NGOs have observer and deputy observer in this Committee. The Managing Authority and Intermediate Bodies of HRD OP will be consulted and included in the process.

The second session of PLATFORM Steering Committee was carried out on July 17. The project advance and ways for its improvement were discussed. Another key point of discussion was how to engage more Roma experts in the process of project generation and consultation.

PLATFORM project is implement by a Consortium with leading organization Open Society Institute – Sofia and partners Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance “Amalipe”, the National Association of Roma in Public Administration and Resource Center for Decentralization and Municipal Development. The overall project objective is to support NGOs, municipalities and other institutions to prepare projects for Roma integration with good quality in order to receive financing for these projects by European structural funds and programs financed by the state budget.
The first results show that owing to intensive information campaign organized with the project more than 150 project ideas were generated. One quarter of them are approved for consultations within PLATFORM project. Until now every forth project consulted have passes successfully the competition procedure within the Operational programs and have received financing by European funds.

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