EU Will Grant 8 Million Euros to Belarus as Part of the Civil Society and Local Government Support Programme

Maira Mora (on the left),
Head of EU Delegation to Belarus

EU delegation to Belarus organized an information meeting dedicated to a CSO-LA («Civil Society and Local Government Support») programme call for proposals. In accordance with the programme, in 2014-2017 NGOs and local government in Belarus will receive about 8 million euros for development of joint projects. As EU representatives announced today, in 2015 the priority for funding will be given to environmental and energy projects though different initatives are welcome.

The interest to European financing has increased considerably in the past months. The information meeting in Minsk, which was organized by the EU Delegation to Belarus in partnership with the ODB, gathered more than 240 participants, which is three times more than last year.

The meeting brought together representatives of  CSOs, as well as local authorities and educational and public health institutions. More than 160 governmental and non-governmental organisations took part in the discussions on project applications and priorities for the 2015 call for proposals.

Taru Kernisalo, Project Coordinator,
EU Delegation to Belarus

As Taru Kernisalo, EU Delegation to Belarus Project Coordinator said today in Minsk, the nearest future will see a considerable increase in EU financial aid allocations to joint projects by both non-governmental and governmental organizations: in the next 6 years international project funding within the Civil Society and Local Government Support Programme will be 1.9 billion euros, which is 20% more than the previous 2007-2013 programme “budget”. This programme operates in 66 countries and is financed by the European Union within the EU Development Cooperation Instrument.

According to the programme, by 2017 Belarus will receive 8 million euros for projects implemented by NGOs and local government authorities: the 2015 budget of the call for proposals budget will be 3 million euros, in 2016 – 5 million euros (EC calls are now held biannually and not annually as before).

As Maira Mora, Head of EU Delegation to Belarus, noted during the Minsk information meeting,  EU currently supports civil society development and engagement of local communities in development on both local and national level.

European Union is committed to intensifying the dialogue between public organizations and local authorities, welcoming partnership not just “in theory” but “in practice”. The Head of EU Delegation to Belarus thinks that development of local initiatives, including grass-root economic development, should be a priority in every funding programme. Maira Mora cited local energy projects in Braslav and Pukhovichi as successful examples.

CSO-LA Programme in Belarus provides for both cultural projects on national identity and social projects, for example, projects on assisting people with disabilities or rehabilitating ex-convicts.:

Maira Mora,
Head of EU Delegation to Belarus

"This does not have to be done by the MIA only: non-governmental organizations can participate as well. The general population should also understand that the state is there not just to “govern” them. Post-Soviet societies are special, as the state here does not have to carry the “burden”: cumbersome management is a burden for taxpayers. However, non-governmental organizations can surely be entrusted with the so-called outsourcing of services.“

During the Minsk meeting participants looked into the preparation of project applications for the CSO-LA call for proposals, examined rules of applying and studied the mistakes commonly made while creating project concepts.
As part of the support network for the participants, two 4-hour trainings on developing projects and preparing project proposals were organized by the consultants of the “Clearing House” programme, which is implemented in Belarus by the Office for a Democratic Belarus (Brussels) in partnership with the Office for European Expertise and Communication, with 70 organization taking part in the trainings.

The Call for Proposals of the EU Delegation to Belarus will be open until February 11. An expert commission will then select a number of concepts to compete in the second round to take place in the end of March, when a full project application will need to be prepared. Second-round winners will receive funding in Belarus within the Civil Society and Local Government Support Programme.

You can get a free consultation on preparing a project application within the "Clearing House" project. Book a consultation here.

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