The Partnership Principle is one of the key principles in EU Cohesion Policy. It encourages all EU member states to involve stakeholders at all stages of implementing Cohesion Policy funding. Against this background, DG Regio called for a stronger involvement of citizens and civil society organisations at the high-level conference on engaging citizens and civil society in Cohesion Policy in Februrary. Following this call, DG Regio is currently launching two Pilot Actions to strengthen citizens’ involvement in the ESIF programming phase.
In this spirit, Commissioner Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, emphasises the need for citizen engagement by stating: “Cohesion Policy is on the frontline of the challenges European citizens face today, from climate to innovation, from social inclusion and skills to connectivity. Therefore, it is important for them to have a bigger say in the way this policy delivers. Both public authorities and civil society organisations will reap the benefits of more authentic citizens’ participation.”
Pilot Action to build capacities for Managing Authorities
The first Pilot Action addresses Managing Authorities (MA) and Intermediate Bodies (IB) of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF). Under this action, programme authorities can apply for support to explore closer cooperation with citizens and civil society organisations. With the expertise of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the beneficiaries receive assistance and mentoring.
Interested programme authorities can submit their expression of interest to DG Regio until 31 March 2020. (Please find more information on the call at the link below.)
Pilot Action for civil society to promote citizen engagement
The second Pilot Action aims at supporting innovative ideas and initiatives for promoting citizen engagement. For this purpose, DG Regio will set aside EUR 250.000 for grassroot financing. With this action, the Commission seeks to encourage civil society to testnew approaches of citizen involvement in Cohesion Policy. Thereby, the Commission expects better implementation of projects and a stronger ownership of their results. The call will be published in the next weeks.
- DG Regio: Cohesion Policy: involving citizens to ensure better results, Article 06/02/2020
- Call for expression of interest for managing authorities and intermediate bodies to participate in a pilot action on engaging citizens in the implementation of cohesion policy
- DG Regio: High-level conference “Engaging citizens for good governance in Cohesion Policy”, conference material
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