Czech Gov't Agency for Social Inclusion renews work in 10 locations
At the start of April the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion renewed its collaboration with 10 cities, municipalities and a Regional Authority. The renewed collaboration focuses primarily on coordinating the drawing of social inclusion funds during the current European Union funding period.
Collaboration will be renewed with Brno, Bruntál, Děčín, Jesenicko, Kadaň, Klášterec nad Ohří and Vejprty, Kolín, Litvínov, Obrnice, and Roudnice nad Labem. "We have contacted all of the cities and municipalities with which the Agency collaborated in the past, offering to renew collaboration on the option of being included in the so-called Coordinated Approach to Socially Excluded Localities by using European Union funds. Interest in collaboration was demonstrated by 19 towns, and we are initiating renewed cooperation with 10 of them. This is an enormous opportunity - in the majority of these places we are not starting from the beginning, but continuing our prevoius work. We anticipate really good results from these collaborations," Agency director Šimáček said on 16 April.
"The number of localities with which the Agency is collaborating is now 36," he said. "Between now and 2019 we will be offering our support in a total of at least 70 places."
In practice this means that each city or municipality with which the Agency collaborates will be given a local consultant who, over the next three years, will coordinate the activities of local entities (representatives of municipalities, local authority departments, the Labor Office, police, schools, and nonprofit organizations) on social inclusion. The consultant will help them put together a strategic plan for social inclusion and the coordinated acquisition of funding from the three main European Union operational programs (Operational Program Employment, Operational Program Science, Research and Education, and the Integrated Regional Operational Program).
The strategic plans will reflect already-existing documents adopted by the cities and municipalities, such as community social services plans, integrated urban development plans, municipal and regional crime prevention plans, and regional plans for the integration of Romani people and other minorities. Changes to the management and structure of the Agency were announced by the Czech Human Rights Minister on 17 April that Agency staffers fear could endanger the drawing of EU funds.
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