Awareness seminar on cross-border programme between Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
The awareness seminar organized in the region of Korca was the first activity related to dissemination of information to the potential applicants on the cross-border programme between Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The seminar was organized on July 23rd in the premises of the Regional Council of Korca which was the host institution.
Organization of the info day was made in full cooperation with the MEI and the Regional authorities. In addition, the Regional Council of Korca, through its Department of Programming and Coordination, identified the target institutions and groups to participate in the event (different public organizations, regional and local institutions, local academia, civil society organizations active in this region) as well as distributed the invitations.
A total number of 50 people participated in the info-day.
The main items on the agenda included:
- Presentation of the main strategic goal of the cross-border programme between Albania – the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, its specific objectives, priorities and measures
- Presentation on the support that has been provided to the national authorities in both countries for the preparation of the cross-border programme and the upcoming support that the CBIB project is going to provide to the local beneficiaries with regard to enhancing local capacities for preparation and implementation of successful cross–border projects.
The overall objective of the seminar was to inform the potential applicants about the cross-border programme between Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and its expected impact, and its priorities and measures, well in advance so that they will be prepared when the Calls for Proposals are launched. In addition, the activity was intended to inform the potential applicants on the next steps to be taken in the near future to make the programme fully operation and establish the related institutional framework.
The expected results from this activity are the following:
(i) increased awareness of the participants on the cross-border programmes in general and the cross-border programme between Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia;
(ii) increase the number of beneficiaries that receive information on the CBIB project in general;
(iii) potential applicants informed on the cross-border programmes in general and IPA CBC.Organisation of the awareness at this earlier stage was considered to be very important by the participants as it provided the opportunity to get informed on the programme well in advance, before the Call for Proposals is launched;
Conclusion and Lessons learned:
- The Region of Korca is also participating in the NH programme Greece – Albania. The experience of the final beneficiaries during the Call for Proposals in the fall of 2006 showed that the time between the Info Day organised during the CfP and the closing date of the CfP was too short. The final beneficiaries didn’t have sufficient time to deal with the preparation of project application. They faced great difficulties to establish contacts with the relevant beneficiaries on the other side of the border, thus loosing the opportunity to prepare good joint projects.
- The “partner search” database developed by the CBIB teams in Tirana and Skopje made available to all participants was highly appreciated.
- Participants showed a particular interest on the coming training programme presented by the CBIB representatives.
However, concerns were expressed by the representatives of the communes who emphasized that human resource capacities at the level of local administration are very poor and unless a “capacity support system” for helping the communes to develop the project proposals is in place there is a risk that the participation of the communes in this programme might be very limited.
- Participation of the Regional Authorities in the drafting process of the programme and the organization
of the info-day was perceived as a sound contribution to co-ownership on the process together with the MEI.