Mobile app facilitates the interaction with local authorities in regard to local growth

Today`s world is dynamic, digital, full with innovations. Mobile devices have long become more than a mean for communication and have taken most of our daily lives. They are source of information, tool for exchange of such, communication channel …and even a tool for stating own civic position.

Young people are vulnerable to actual themes. They are active, responsible and target-oriented. Youth value their time and resources and invest them in the truly important issues. What more important than forming the future of the local community or region?

A mobile app was developed in the framework of the RoBulUs project. It aims to propose the convenience of the new technologies and to provide the opportunity for inclusion in the decision-making processes regarding local and regional development.

The RoBulUs App ensures short information regarding the essence and application of the EU Cohesion policy and its priorities for 2021 – 2027. The application briefly presents the national, transnational and interregional programmes, in which Bulgaria participates in the previous and current programming periods. It also provides practical advices for applying the civic participation, incl. by providing access to some of the others project outputs – Step-by-step Guide `Vision for Cohesion` and video series with success stories from the implementation of the INTERREG V-A Romania – Bulgaria Programme. The application is particularly useful with the provided opportunity for interaction with local authorities and for participation in on-going public discussions of strategic documents and calls for proposals.

The mobile app is listed in Google Play and IStore

RoBulUs` interactive handbook `Vision for Cohesion` supports young people in becoming active citizens

Civic participation represents people`s right to legitimately participate in the processes of strategic planning and governance. It empowers stakeholders to take part in decision-making and thus, contributes to finding solution that is appropriate for all parties. Moreover, it forms a commitment for applying and monitoring of these decisions. 

Civic participation may have different forms and expressions. Most often, its main results is related to the creation of considerable social or societal change, which brings additional effects as well.  

Young people are key source of innovative ideas and carriers of resources and energy for their realization.

They are also the expected beneficiaries of that change. That means that it is them who need to undertake the role of legitimate partner in the strategic planning and to openly state their position on current themes. This means that they must use their right for democratic engagement through the proposed regulatory mechanisms.

The Interactive guide `Vision for Cohesion`, developed within the RoBulUs project supports them in this process. The handbook includes synthesized information regarding the established pathways for civic participation in the context of the Cohesion policy and also provides guidelines for their utilization and use in the real-life. This is a valuable helper, who serves to all interested citizens in the process of gathering information regarding the opportunities for engagement with the regional and local development.

The Guide is free and on disposal of all interested young people and active citizens.

Opportunity for participation in the RoBulUS`s mobile app improvement and update

In the framework of the RobUlUs project we created a mobile app which to supports the young people`s awareness regarding Cohesion policy and its contribution for the local community and wellbeing. The mobile app presents the national, cross-border and interregional programmes in which Romania and Bulgaria participate and encourages the citizen engagement in their planning and implementation.

The RoBulUs mobile app  is on disposal of all stakeholders, which besides using it may contribute to its assessment, improvement and upgrade.

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Videos of success stories of citizens` participation in the implementation of INTERREG RO-BG programme

Civic participation is an opportunity for sorting out local and regional challenges. It guarantees real involvement of people in searching for solutions to everyday problems, as well as implementation of actions that support the development of a better society. 

Although there are number of different mechanisms and pathways for civic participation, it is most often implemented in the form of variety by their type and character initiatives. The Cohesion policy of EU provides resources for the implementation of such activities, that support the economic and social development of regions in need. 

The cross-border region of Romania and Bulgaria is one of these  disadvantaged areas, that look for solution of common challenges in order to unlock the full spectrum of their untapped potential. Support in that is offered by the joint cross-border programme. 

Six success stories of civic participation in he pm INTERREG V-A Romania – Bulgaria 2014 – 2020 are presented in this section. The results of these stories have contributed to the solution of different problems of the region and have also boosted its development. 

Ruse, Bulgaria
Good practice of Foundation "Idein Development"
Silistra, Bulgaria
Good practice of Association `Youth Organization for European Silistra
Constanta, Romania
Good practice of ONG `Mare Nostrum
Vidin, Bulgaria
Good practice of Association `Free Youth Center
Calarasi, Romania
Good practice of AISSER
Vidin, Bulgaria
Good practice of Institute for territorial innovations and cooperation

Practical Outline of the Mechanisms through which the citizens can engage in the design and future implementation of the Operational Programs

Civic participation is the foundation of good governance. It lays the foundation for the application of the principles of transparency, openness and efficiency in the planning and implementation of state policy.

The active involvement of citizens (especially young people) in decision-making and action at local and regional level is essential for the sustainable development of a more democratic, inclusive and prosperous society in which they will live and develop. Cooperation with people should become an integral part of the processes for determining the development priorities of the region or the country, as well as of the procedures for decision-making and implementation of policies aimed at meeting important public needs. This requires the formation and use of inclusion mechanisms through which to ensure sustainable results on truly important topics, the problems of everyday life of the average citizen.

In this regard, in the framework of project RoBulUs: Tools for enhancing youth engagement in Romania – Bulgaria cross-border cooperation, we developed a practical outline of the mechanisms through which the citizens can participate in the processes of decision-making. The focus of this document is towards provision of measures and identifications of local and regional priorities, that need to be reflected in the design and future implementation of Operational programs in Bulgaria and Romania. 

This practical outlines identifies and presents in synthesized form the legislative provided mechanisms for involvement of citizens and their organizations in the processes of planning, decision-making and their implementation to ensure sustainable local and regional development. Next – by providing the necessary knowledge, our Practical Outlines strive to encourage civic activism for inclusion in the implementation of the Cohesion Policy 2021 – 2027 and the use of its funding opportunities. 

The European Commission’s support for the production of this website does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

RoBulUs stands for Tools for Enhancing Youth Engagement in Romania-Bulgaria Cross-Border Cooperation. It is an initiative that supports youth in becoming more aware and involved in decision making processes. 

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