DANUBE STRATEGIC PROJECT FUND, UPCOMING PAC 10 INITIATIVES AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REFORM – 11TH SG MEETING
On 15 November 2016 Priority Area 10 organised the 11th Steering Group Meeting at the premises of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration of the Republic of Romania in Bucharest. The main outcomes of the discussion with the representatives from the EUSDR partner countries, the European Commission (EC), the Danube Strategy Point (DSP), the Danube Transnational Programme (DTP), the RCC and the DCSF encompassed the potential of the European Social Fund (ESF) for institutional capacity-building, the results of the first call of the DTP and the conditions for the 2nd call, the specifications of the DTP’s Seed Money Facility, the funding opportunities of the Danube Strategic Project Fund (DSPF) and PA 10 initiatives planned for the upcoming years. Furthermore, the Centre for European Perspective was introduced as new Slovenian Co-PAC starting the cooperation with the City of Vienna in 2017.
Sirma Caraman, State Secretary of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration, opened the Steering Group Meeting stressing the importance of local development for regional prosperity. She also pointed to the on-going reform of public administration in Romania and the contribution of EU funding to this endeavour. The Romanian National Coordinator of the EUSDR, Silvia Davidoiu, reinforced the role of local public authorities for the successful implementation of the strategy and mentioned a training project for city managers in Romania. Silvia Davidoiu wished for a stronger involvement of the countries from the Western Balkan as well as of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova in the implementation of the EUSDR and finally highlighted the need for more information of available funding and for mobilising private donors.
The ESF contribution to institutional capacity-building in Romania
Priority Area 10 invited the Managing Authority of the Romanian Operational Programmes for Administrative Capacity (OPAC). Roxana Chiţu presented the programme 2014-2020 that supports projects aiming at more efficient as well as accessible and transparent public administration and judicial system in Romania.
Review on the Annual Forum 2016
Csaba Hende, European Commission, and Matija Vilfan, Danube Strategy Point, talked about this year’s EUSDR Annual Forum (AF) in Bratislava and presented the publication on EUSDR Success Stories that was first presented at the AF in November. Matija Vilfan mentioned the funding database EuroAccess Danube Region that was officially launched at the EUSDR event. The EuroAccess database is a pilot initiative of PAC 10 in cooperation with EuroVienna that was implemented in 2016.
Danube Transnational Programme: Calls & Seed Money Facility
Johannes Gabriel, policy officer of the DTP, presented the results of the first call for proposals. 13 out of 55 approved projects contribute to the thematic scope of Priority Area 10. The second call will be launched in the beginning of 2017. The application process will be implemented in a one-step procedure. The call is open to all priorities and specific objectives except Priority/Specific Objective 4.1 “Well Governed Danube Region”.
The Seed Money Facility (SMF) of the DTP offers support to project promoters for the preparation of project proposals relevant for the EUSDR priorities. The DTP provides small-scale funding for transnational partnerships to draft an analysis of needs and challenges, a project plan and to identify funding opportunities for the actual project implementation.
Danube Strategic Project Fund: Building bridges between Cohesion Policy and EU Neighbourhood Policy
Rudolf Schicker, Coordinator of Priority Area 10/City of Vienna, presented the Danube Strategic Project Fund that supports projects and initiatives which do not fit into another funding scheme. Projects with a strategic dimension, especially in view of Enlargement and Neighbourhood policies, that include cross-cutting and/or horizontal measures covering several Priority Areas of the Strategy or have connections and/or spill-over effects in the territory covered by the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region will be funded.
Priority Area 10: up-coming intiatives
Nina Čepon, Daniela Urschitz and Claudia Singer, Priority Area 10, presented the activities of Priority Area 10 in regard to institutional capacity-building, urban development and civil society involvement in public governance. All areas showed satisfactory process. The coordination of Priority Area 10 will continue its activities in regard to the EUSDR Participation Day and project consultation. In the next three years PA 10 also plans to contribute to policy development in terms of local public administration and functional metropolitan regions. Furthermore, PA 10 strengthens cooperation with stakeholders in the Danube Region through the Bled Strategic Forum and its framework for institutional capacity-building with public and private funding institutions. In regard to project development PA 10 offers information and access to stakeholder networks through corresponding events.
Last but not least, the Centre of Excellence in Finance (CEF) in Slovenia resigns from its function as Co-PAC in the end of 2016 and will be replaced by the experienced Centre for European Perspective (CEP) in Slovenia from 2017 onwards and will continue the fruitful cooperation.