Presentation of NGO Projects Contracted under IPA 2009

Nine NGO projects contracted under IPA 2009 Strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations for monitoring progress and advocacy in the areas of democratization, human rights, minorities integration, and the sustainable return of refugees in the areas of special state concern were presented on Friday 27 January 2012 in an event organized by the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs.

Within the above mentioned IPA 2009 call for proposals nine NGOs in cooperation with 26 partner organizations/institutions obtained financial support in the amount exceeding 13 million kunas (about 1,800,000.00 euros) for the activities of monitoring the implementation of Acquis Communautaire and public advocacy in the areas of democratization, human rights, minorities integration and the sustainable return of refugees in the areas of special state concern. The Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs is responsible for monitoring the success of project implementation in close cooperation with Central Financing and Contracting Agency.

It was emphasized at the event that the beginning of the implementation of projects, which are financed both by the EU and the Croatian Government under the Office for Cooperation with NGOs line in the state budget, indicates the readiness for having a relationship of partnership with the civil society and other representatives of expert and interested public in monitoring the execution of obligations assumed within the process of joining the EU.



Igor Vidačak, Head of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs, pointed out that these projects, as well as more than a hundred others, had been implemented by civil society organizations in the recent years through different components of EU pre-accession support programmes. Apart from offering innovative and creative approaches to solving the problems in local communities, they also facilitated opening new jobs and offered an opportunity for employment and gaining valuable experience in working on EU projects.

Ambassador Paul Vandoren, Head of EU Delegation to Croatia, congratulated the beneficiaries who had undergone the complex procedure and obtained the EU funds. “The promotion of civil society and human rights is an important issue which was given a lot of attention during Croatia’s pre-accession negotiations with the EU, and it will remain important after Croatia enters the EU”, said Ambassador Vandoren. He also pointed out the EU commitment to the fight against discrimination, referring to the Lisbon Treaty and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Madam Social Policy and Youth Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Milanka Opačić said that civil sector projects were going to receive continuing support because they have an important role in carrying out the tasks in their segments. She commended all on the energy and commitment invested in this hard work. Madam Minister pointed out that the areas in which NGOs competed for funding were very important, e.g. prevention of violence among youth, especially in Slavonia which in addition to suffering war devastation, was further weakened by poverty which led to the increase in violence among youth. “Then there is the integration of returnees where much has been done and yet many still live in difficult conditions and suffer social exclusion. It is therefore necessary to put more effort into enabling them to have a better life”, the Minister pointed out.
The list of contracted projects can be downloaded here.