Local development Programme at start: € 82.3 million for local development, poverty reduction, increased Roma inclusion
The "Local Development and Poverty Reduction, Enhanced Roma Inclusion" Programme (Local Development), funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021, was launched official on Thursday, September 13, at Marshal Garden Hotel in Bucharest. The launch event enjoyed an increased interest among potential beneficiaries, more than 115 representatives of central and local public authorities, civil society, as well as participants from Norway and the Council of Europe honouring the invitation to take part in this inaugural moment.
In the words addressed to the participants, Mrs. Mihaela Toader, State Secretary within the Ministry of European Funds, described the Local Development Programme as an extremely important one in the EEA and Norwegian financial mechanisms. "We are talking about considerable sums allocated to areas of great importance for Romania, from local development to social inclusion, support for young people in risk situations and strengthening partnerships with donor states. All are equally important and all require increased attention from both the authorities and those implementing the projects", said Mihaela Toader.
In her turn, H.E. Mrs. Lise Kleven Grevstad, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Romania, emphasized the importance of education and investment in social inclusion for the state's trajectory, and in this respect provided the example of Norway. "One of the most effective ways to promote social inclusion is education. That is why education is one of the fundamental investments of this program. Access to education has been crucial in the development process of my country", said Lise Kleven Grevstad.
"It is the most complex and extended program from the financial point of view of the entire program portfolio financed by the EEA and Norwegian Mechanisms, with a budget of 82.3 million euros. In addition to the general objectives of the Grants, the Program proposes a number of specific objectives, such as increasing access to services for the Roma population, developing anti-discrimination tools, supporting children and young people in risk situations, strengthening the capacity of the educational system to offer inclusive education and to improve the quality of services, but also the implementation of recommendations of the European Court of Human Rights", stressed Mihaela Peter, Executive Director of the Romanian Social Development Fund, the organization responsible for the management of the Programme.
The Programme is implemented by the Romanian Social Development Fund, in partnership with the Council of Europe and the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities.
The launching of the Programme was an opportunity to promote among the participants the funding opportunities offered by the Program, the next two years being planned to launch 7 calls for proposals in areas such as local development, poverty reduction, Roma inclusion, children and young people at risk, good governance, human rights. At the conference were also presented the 4 predefined projects to be financed through the Programme, conducted by the Association of Romanian Communes, the Secretariat General of the Romanian Government, the National University of Physical Education and Sport and the Council of Europe.
At the same time, was also emphasized the importance of strengthening the bilateral relations between Romania and Donor States. Thus, the Program will fund bilateral initiatives aimed at contributing to the development of sustainable cooperation, partnership and exchange of experience between entities in Romania and entities from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway that operate in the Programme areas.
EEA and Norway grants for local development and increased inclusion of disadvantaged groups
The Romanian Social Development Fund (FRDS) is launching on Thursday, September 13, 2018, in an official framework the Programme "Local Development and Poverty Reduction, Enhanced Roma Inclusion", which will finance measures aimed at increasing the use of social services to disadvantaged groups and social inclusion of children and young people in risk, to contribute to combating school dropout, to developing integrated measures for Roma inclusion and to combating discrimination, to develop the capacity of central and local government to apply the principles good governance, respectively, to support the implementation of ECHR recommendations on respect for human rights in Romania.
The Programme "Local Development and Poverty Reduction, Enhanced Roma Inclusion" (Local Development) is funded through the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021 and is implemented by the Romanian Social Development Fund in partnership with the Council of Europe and the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities has an overall budget of € 82,352,941 (including 15% co-financing by the Romanian Government).
In order to achieve the proposed objectives, in the period of 2018-2019 will be launched four calls for project proposals, namely:
1. Local development (10,090,640 euro), call for improvement of quality and access to social services (inclusive education, health, employment, etc.) of disadvantaged groups.
2. Children and young people at risk (8.581.978 euro), an appeal that promotes and supports inclusive education and equal opportunities, enhancing access to and use of educational services.
3. Inclusion of Roma (EUR 16,000,000), calling for the promotion of social inclusion, combating discrimination and racism, promoting intercultural exchanges and strengthening development capacity in communities with a high percentage of ethnic Roma.
4. Human rights (EUR 5,868,529), an appeal to national public entities to implement the recommendations issued by the ECHR after 2015 on the rights of persons with disabilities, the rights of national minorities, the rights of inmates, children's rights and women's rights in Romania.
Financing under the Programme shall also be provided by means of two small grants schemes, namely:
Priority Interventions for Roma Inclusion(€ 1,647,059), a call which shall provide emergency funding to improve the social and educational facilities for children and young people, increase of access to health services, improvement of living conditions, facilitate the issuance of identity papers, ensure social and legal support for victims of evictions, promotion of intercultural exchanges, etc.
Support for Local Development (€ 1,000,000), a call which shall provide the financing of local authorities in order to increase their capacity to apply for other financing, respectively for technical assistance services for the preparation of technical documentation and obtaining the necessary legal approvals for investments / measures aiming at local development in poor areas
To help strengthen bilateral relations between Romania and Donor States, the Programme supports cooperation, partnerships and exchange of experience between Romanian entities and entities from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway operating in the Programme areas.
Start for the Programme "Local Development and Poverty Reduction, Enhanced Roma Inclusion"
The Programme "Local Development and Poverty Reduction, Enhanced Roma Inclusion", funded by the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021, is close to the official launch following the signing by the three Donor States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and the Government of Romania, of the programme agreement. The Romanian Social Development Fund (RSDF), as Program Operator, will organize over the next two years several calls for project proposals to fund projects in order to reduce social disparities and contribute to strengthening bilateral relations with Donor States.
RSDF announces that in June 2018, the program agreement on the financing of the "Local Development and Poverty Reduction, Enhanced Roma Inclusion" Programme was signed.
The total budget of the Programme is € 82,352,941, of which € 70,000,000 of grants from Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway (€ 25,000,000, EEA Grants and 45,000,000 Norway Grants) and € 12,352,941 national public co-financing. The Programme has two partners: the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities and the Council of Europe.
The Programme aims to increase Roma inclusion, raise the use of social services by disadvantaged groups, increase the capacity of central and local government to implement the principles of good governance and contribute to the respect for human rights in Romania.
By facilitating cooperation and partnerships between Romanian entities and donor states, the program will also help to strengthen bilateral relations between Donor States and Romania.
For achieving these objectives, 5 specific calls for project proposals will be launched under the Programme, in the following areas: Local development, Poverty reduction, Children and Youth at Risk, Roma Inclusion, and Human Rights. Other two calls will be launched under the two Small Grant Schemes, respectively: Roma Inclusion and Local Development.
Apart from the call for project proposals, 4 pre-defined projects will be financed under the Programme, as follows:
1. "Sustainable social and education integration through sport activities" implemented by the National University for Physical Education and Sports (UNEFS) Bucharest, in partnership with the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences;
2. "INCLUDE - Inclusion of Children and Youth at Risk" implemented by the Council of Europe in partnership with Romanian stakeholders;
3. "Capacity building in the field of public governance - a coordinated approach of the Centre of the Government of Romania" implemented by the General Secretary of the Government, in partnership with OECD; and
4."Improving access and quality of services to citizens" proposed by the Romanian Association of Communes (ACoR), in partnership with the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities and with the Association of Romanian Municipalities.
To find out about the Programme, we invite you to follow the FRDS website and its Facebook page.
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Romanian Social Development Fund held on March 17, 2017, a consultation meeting on the Programme "Local Development and Poverty Reduction, Enhanced Roma Inclusion", which will be funded through the EEA and Norway Grants for the period 2014-2021.
The event was attended by 37 representatives of public authorities and institutions from central and local level, academic environment, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations that are operating in Romania in program areas. Also, representatives of the Association of Local and Regional Authorities of Norway (KS) and the Council of Europe (CoE), as partners of the program and of Financial Mechanism Office (FMO) and of the National Contact Point (NCP) attended the meeting.