Project “Cross-border school “Local Democracy” for building institutional capacity at local and regional level”

In December 2005 Regional Municipalities Association “ Maritza ” signed a contract with the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works for the implementation of a project on topic : “Cross-border school “Local Democracy” for building institutional capacity at local and regional level”.

The project is one of the eleven projects, financed by Phare Programme Cross-border Cooperation Bulgaria – Turkey 2003 .

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O n January 12 th and 13 th , 2006 a conference for presenting thefinanced by the European Union initiatives was held in “Aqua” Hotel, Burgas. After the official presentation of the Joint Small Projects Fund – CBC Bulgaria – Turkey an information meeting for the organizations implementing the projects was held.

Mr. Dimcho Mihalevski, The Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, experts from “ Phare Programme” Implementing Agency, MRDPW, representatives of the Delegation of the European Commission, representatives of the local authorities and the business took part in the conference.

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On April 26 th , 2006 in Haskovo an initial meeting on the project : “Cross-border school “Local Democracy” for building institutional capacity at local and regional level” was held. The Mayors of the municipalities-members of Association “Merich”, Turkey, the Mayors of the municipalities-members of RMA “Maritza”, Bulgaria, the Regional Governors of Haskovo and Kardzhali regions took part in the meeting.

The objectives and the mission of the School, the training opportunities and the elaboration of a Strategy for Cross-border Cooperation were presented at the meeting.

Prof. Bojana Nedelcheva presented the Certification Institute of Municipal Clerks for South-East Europe and the Institute for postgraduate qualification at the University for National and World Economy which will play a significant role in the activity of the established on the project “Local Democracy” Cross-border School.

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On July 17 th and 18 th , 2006 a seminar on topic: “European Union – Institutional System, Economic Policy, Regional Policy. The Local Authorities Role in the EU Integration Process; Topical Methods of Administrative Service” was organized.

The seminar was the first training module on the project “Cross-border school “Local Democracy” for building institutional capacity at local and regional level”. The initiative aimed at raising the qualification of the officials in the municipalities – members of the Association “Merich”, Turkey and Association “Maritza”, Bulgaria and referred to :

  • The European Union – Institutional System, Economic Policy, Regional Policy ;
  • The Local Authorities Role in the EU Integration Process .

70 officials from the municipalities – members of the Associations “Merich”, Turkey and “Maritza”, Bulgaria took part in the training .

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On August 31 th and September 1 st , 2006 a seminar on topic: “Raising the EU Pre-accession and Structural Funds. Successful elaboration of projects” was organized .

The seminar was the second training module on the project: “Cross-border school “Local Democracy” for building institutional capacity at local and regional level”. The initiative aimed at raising the qualification of the officials of the municipalities – members of the Associations “Merich”, Turkey and “Maritza”, Bulgaria and referred to the opportunities for financing and elaborating projects .

During the seminar 7 Bulgarian-Turkish projects for attracting financing and public support were developed, according to the forthcoming European Programmes. Partnerships between the Associations of Municipalities and their members from the two sides of the border for solving common problems at local and regional level were established .

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On September 18 th and 19 th , 2006 a Practice Course on the project: “Cross-border school “Local Democracy” for building institutional capacity at local and regional level” was held.

The initiative is the third session of the training process, during which the partners from Bulgaria and Turkey acquired practical skills for elaboration of successful cross-border projects. 7 project ideas which will be presented at the Invest Forum in October in Sofia were developed. The Forum aims at ensuring more publicity and opportunity for attracting the participation of international donors and investors. Partners, financing and public support for the realization of the elaborated projects will be looked for during the Forum.

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In the beginning of October, 2006 meetings between the Mobile consultant team, formed on the project and representatives of the municipalities from the two sides of the border were held. The problems and necessities of each municipality and opportunities for solving them were discussed on the meetings. The participants were aware with the materials presented during the training modules. The Catalog of the “Local democracy” Cross-Border School was also presented on the meeting with the purpose of popularizing the school activity and the results on the project.

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On October 30 th 2006 Bulgarian-Turkish Investment forum was held at “Princess”Hotel, Sofia.

The aim of the initiative was to be presented the eight elaborated Bulgarian-Turkish ideas for cross-border region development and for improving the contacts and relations between municipalities, institutions and business.

Representatives of Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and Ministry of Forests introduced the participants to the new European funding programmes in different fields.

Formal guests were: Georgi Ivanov, Mayor of Haskovo Municipality and Chairman of RMA”Maritza”, Rayna Yovcheva, Governor of Haskovo region, Nusret Miroglu, Governor of Edirne region, Erdjan Chobanoglu, Mayor of Uzunkupru Municipality and Chairman of Association “Merich”, Mechmed Apak, First Secretary of the Turkish Embassy in Bulgaria amd Chetin Jalmaz, Turkish Trade representative in Bulgaria. 81 participants from the municipalities-members of the two associations, UNDP, FLGR,NAMRB, Regional associations of municipalities in Bulgaria and representatives of the JOBS business centers took part in the forum.

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On October 31 th 2006 Closing conference on the project was held in Haskovo.

The results of the project and the common achievements and initiatives were presented as well as the positive practices upon specific and current topics were exchanged.

All Bulgarian and Turkish participants in the project training received certificates. Pesonally prof. Bojana Nedelcheva, Director of Certification Institute for Municipal Clerks for Central and Eastern Europe handed the certificates.

This project is financed by the EU  This project is implemented by RMA”Maritza”