Presentation of projects by NGOs to which the EU had allocated grants within the PHARE 2006 programme 'Enabling the Civil Society Sector for Active Contribution in the Pre-accession Process' was organized by the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs on February 17 at the EU info centre.
36 projects in the field of democratization and human rights, youth participation and environmental protection and sustainable development were approved for funding of over 3 million euro. The event was attended by the Vice President of Croatian Government Jadranka Kosor, Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to the Republic of Croatia H.E. Vincent Degert, Director of the Central Finance and Contracting Agency Marija Tufekčić and Head of Office for Cooperation with NGOs Igor Vidačak.
Vice President of Croatian Government Jadranka Kosor, stated that such projects, along with the work of state institutions, contribute to achieving the common goal - a better life for all citizens of Croatia. Kosor emphasized that better life for citizens was both the external policy and internal policy goal of everyone involved in Croatia's EU accession process, in which NGOs play an important role.
The civil society representatives will have the next opportunity to submit project proposals within IPA 2008 programme, Ms Tufekčić emphasized.
"For NGO projects within IPA 2008 programme, EUR 3.45 million is allocated. Project that will be granted will be related to the three priority areas first: enhancing the participation of the CSOs in monitoring of the implementation of the EU Acquis, in the field of fight against corruption and the overall transparency of public administration bodies; second strengthening capacities of the CSOs related to the monitoring of the implementation of the comprehensive anti-discrimination strategy, and last but not least developing capacities of CSOs for systematic monitoring and advocacy of sustainable development policies and integrated approaches to waste and water management, transport, regional development, sustainable use of natural resources and environmental safety" Tufekčić banded.
Vincent Degert said that the European Union was a union of ideas and citizens. In the times of crisis and in generally difficult times, it is crucial to refocus on the basic values and ideas, and in the EU those are solidarity and connectedness. This is no time for talk, it's time for action, reminded Mr. Degert. He invited civil society representatives to continuously send this message to higher levels and to jointly contribute to prosperity which, thereby, becomes a part of European tradition.