Chamber of Economy of Montenegro, in cooperation with the Ministry of European Affairs, organized the Fair of European Projects on May 28 in the Petrović Park in Podgorica.
Help’s stand was among more than 60 other stand at the fair.
For years, Help has been implementing EU-funded projects in Montenegro. A particularly important project at the moment, for the Roma-Egyptian (RE) community in Montenegro, with which Help has been working for more than two decades, is “Social inclusion of Roma men and women and Egyptians with the mediation of inclusion associates”, implemented in a total of 11 municipalities (Bar, Berane, Bijelo Polje, Budva, Cetinje, Herceg Novi, Nikšić, Pljevlja, Podgorica, Tivat and Ulcinj).
The project is funded by the European Union and Montenegro Program for employment, education and social welfare. Help’s partners on the project are the Capital City of Podgorica and the municipalities of Berane and Nikšić.
A total of 34 Help’s Mediators have been working in local institutions since October 2021, for a period of 12 months: 13 in the field of social welfare, 11 in the field of employment and 10 in the field of health care. The goal is: The State to recognize importance of the model of Roma mediator/associate for social inclusion through institutions/services and include it in the systematization of jobs at the local level, which will benefit the RE population in Montenegro, as well as contribute to their effective inclusion in society.
The event, organized as part of the celebration of The Month of Europe, was an opportunity for visitors to get acquainted with projects implemented by institutions, municipalities, companies, universities and NGO sectors, and to talk with potential partners about expected upcoming calls.
The fair was opened by the EU Ambassador to Montenegro, Ms. Oana Cristina Popa, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of European Affairs, Ms. Jovana Marović, and the host, the President of the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro, Ms. Nina Drakić.
Participation of overall of 45 institutions, organizations and companies in the Fair, which they were represented more than 200 projects that are implementing, on the over 60 stands, confirms that Montenegro has the capacity to work on itself and meet the set goals using the available support of European funds. While there’s always room for improvement, I think we have reasons to be proud of what is being done in this field. I hope that you all share my belief that we will use IPA III (funds) in an even higher percentage, especially taking into account all the benefits offered through it. So we are ready for upcoming calls that will be announced for the second half of the year, “said the President of the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro, Nina Drakić.
EU ambassador Oana Cristina Popa believes that the numerous projects presented at the EU-funded Fair not only prove that the Union is the largest donor to Montenegro, but also that their support is being used in the right way.
She pointed out that EU pre-accession funds are used for many important projects, from support to public administration reforms and strengthening the rule of law, to investing in environmental protection and transport infrastructure.
“Our new IPA funds will focus even more on the priority areas selected by Montenegro. We have already granted assistance to Montenegro worth 40 million Euro, which cover transport, environment, agriculture and others within the 2021 program, which will be implemented this and next year”, said Ms. Popa.
Deputy Prime Minister Jovana Marović pointed out that Europe is the main topic these days, considering that the European House has also been opened.
“European integration is at the core of the work of the new government, which is committed to Montenegro joining the EU as soon as possible and these projects contribute to achieving that goal,” says Marović.
She reminded that Montenegro has been using EU funds since 2007, and that numerous projects have been implemented with their support.
They are currently working on a framework for funds that will be used until 2027.
Below you can see the photos we took at the Fair. Ambassador Popa and Minister Marović visited the Help stand and our RE mediators: