Support to engage citizens and civil society

Both public authorities and civil society organisations will reap the benefits of more authentic citizens’ participation

Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms

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 held in Brussels on 6 February 2020. Following this call, DG Regio is currently launching two Pilot Actions to strengthen citizens’ involvement in the ESIF programming phase.

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.

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.mThe call will be published in the coming weeks.

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