PEOPLE MAY IMPACT THE DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR REGION THROUGH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THEIR OWN INITIATVES
Every community has its challenges. In many cases the local government is not able to answer to all problem areas due to number of reasons incl. insufficient budget, priorities and emergency of agenda tasks, lack of information regarding existing challenges, etc. Actions for tackling out such challenges, then may be initiated by the community members while the implementation – to be financially supported by the EU Cohesion policy.
The specific funding opportunities are provided through the so-called project selection procedures. Each procedure has its own objectives, budget and target results (which correspond to those set in the respective operational/ cooperation programme). These conditions, together with the requirements to the candidates, the eligible activities and costs, as well as the evaluation criteria are formulated in the so-called Guidelines for application and appendices to them. The drafts of these documents are published on the website of the respective program or in electronic application system used for the needs of the programme. Thus, the Managing Authority provides the interested parties with the opportunity to submit written objections and proposals within a reasonable time. Accordingly, any interested natural or legal person may propose improving the texts of the conditions or expanding / reducing their scope. It is important that the proposals made do not lead to changes that could violate the principles of equality and fair competition, discrimination or equal opportunities. Neither they may lead to deviations in the objectives of the procedure and the results sought, insofar as they are directed by the respective operational program.
After the expiration of the term for public discussion, all submitted proposals are considered. Some of them are reflected in the application conditions, respectively the annexes to them, and others are reasonably rejected.
The approved documentation for the procedure is published on the website of the respective program, as well as in the electronic system for applications. All interested persons who meet the eligibility criteria set out in the procedure can submit their project proposals, respectively to apply for a grant. Project proposals can be submitted mainly by organizations. Financial support for individuals can be obtained in certain cases, which are significantly limited in number and objectives.
The project idea must also meet the objectives and eligible activities set by the procedure, and to the set minimum and maximum values of the budget and time frame. Some procedures require co-financing from the applicant, which can vary from 2 to 25% of the budget value. The project is submitted in writing to the approved structure in the form of an application form and budget, accompanied by a set of documents, the exhaustive list of which is also set out in the Application Guidelines.
The project proposals received within the set deadline are considered and evaluated according to pre-set criteria. A funding contract is concluded with the organizations with the highest score and the project should be implemented as described in the application. The implementation, administration and accounting of the project is subject to the order and rules explicitly specified by the Managing Authority. They cannot violate legal provisions.
The implementation of the project generates certain results. In the first place, they are an indication of the implementation of the project idea, as conceived by citizens and their organizations, in order to fulfill their goals for solving a social, economic or other problem at the local or regional level. Next – they support the implementation of the objectives of the program, including create effects for balanced development of the country as an EU member state.
The effective use of this mechanism for civic participation is also important. Even in cases where projects do not receive funding, they provide policy-makers with an insight into public issues that may be reflected in other funding procedures or in subsequent programming.
What the steps are?
- Identification of the programme that may finance the realization of an idea or the solution of a problem.
- Regular check on the programme`s follow-ups and call for proposals;
- Involvement in the public discussions (if applicable) of the Call for proposals` Conditions (Guide) for ensuring good understanding of the texts that are to be applied;
- Development of the project idea under requested format and submission in the provided deadline;
- Implementation (if the project is selected, respectively contracted) in the proposed time-line, format and with the achievement of the suggested results;
- Submission of report in the requested form and deadline that describes how the project was implemented and provides evidences for the achievements. The project shall be implemented in accordance with the primary idea and with the requirements of the funding programme and applicable legislation.