1. Is the LSGs’ participation in European PROGRES mandatory?

The LSGs’ involvement in all Programme activities is voluntary. However, the ones that receive financial or other form of support by European PROGRES will be under the obligation to use it in a transparent, accountable, efficient and effective manner, in accordance with the needs of the local residents. That is our main requirement.

2. Who works in European PROGRES?

European PROGRES is implemented by a team of around 30 people, most of whom come from South East and South-West Serbia. We are proud of the fact that the national experts play the key role in the implementation of the entire Programme.

3. How much of the funds has been designated for individual LSGs and which formula did you apply?

European PROGRES has not pre-designated specific funds for each LSG. Financial, technical and other forms of support extended to individual LSGs will depend primarily on the level of LSG engagement and the quality of the project proposals submitted. LSGs that demonstrate commitment and get involved in most European PROGRES’ activities - both those that give quick and visible results and those that take time but have a lasting effect on the community, have better prospects of receiving greater support. To sum up, European PROGRES’ support will be extended to the harder-working and more committed LSGs.

4. Is European PROGRES an NGO?

European PROGRES is a partner Programme funded by the European Union and the Swiss and Serbian Governments and implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in cooperation with the 34 target LSGs. Therefore, European PROGRES is not an NGO, but a development Programme funded by international donors and implemented in partnership with the national and local self-governments to improve the quality of life of the residents of 34 municipalities.

5. Will larger LSGs have advantage over small ones when they apply for support via European PROGRES?

Although larger LSGs usually have stronger capacities and are capable of preparing more high-quality project proposals than the smaller ones, European PROGRES will put in place the relevant criteria and mechanisms to ensure that the funds are allocated as impartially and equitably as possible. For instance, smaller LSGs can count on greater Programme support in preparing relevant project proposals. But, it needs to be borne in mind that the LSGs’ results will ultimately mostly depend on the work of LSGs themselves, commitment and the quality of the submitted project proposals.

6. Where are your offices?

European PROGRES has offices in Belgrade, Niš, Novi Pazar and Vranje. The Programme is implemented in the field, in direct cooperation with the LSGs, civil society and local communities. We believe this is added value to our approach with added value because we can understand the needs of our partners and citizens only through everyday fieldwork and communication.

7. Do you support any particular political option?

European PROGRES is a development Programme and does not support any political option at any time or under any circumstances. The Programme cooperates with the representatives elected by the citizens in the 34 partner LSGs. Our goals are not political – European PROGRES will work on improving local governance, local economic competitiveness, social inclusion and infrastructure, and on the promotion of European values in accordance with the strategic framework provided by the Government of the Republic of Serbia. Our overarching goal is to improve the lives of people in South-East and South-West Serbia and these people, not political options, are our ultimate beneficiaries.

8. What is the percentage of co-funding the LSGs have to provide?

The LSGs will be under the obligation to co-fund the grants approved for local projects, most often 10% of the total project value. The details will be specified in the calls for proposals published during the implementation of the Programme.

9. What is the value of projects European PROGRES can fund?

There is no direct answer to this question. European PROGRES covers a broad spectrum of activities and will provide co-funding for projects worth between several thousand and several million Euros.

For instance, Citizens’ Involvement Fund will support projects worth a maximum of 20,000 Euros, while up to 50,000 Euros will be allocated for the individual design of technical documentation for LSG infrastructural projects. At the same time large infrastructure projects will receive more significant funding.

10. Will European PROGRES publish call for local infrastructure project proposals?

Within European PROGRES there will be two public calls for local infrastructure project proposals. The first call for proposal has been implemented by the Department for Contracting and Financing of EU Funded Programmes (CFCU) of the Ministry of Finance. The second call will be realised through the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

11. Who can apply for jobs in European PROGRES?

All vacancies are public and advertised on the European PROGRES website (www.evropskiprogres.org). The vacancies are also published on the UNOPS global web portal (https://gprs.unops.org/) and the national newspapers, usually in the dailies Blic and Politika. European PROGRES is an equal opportunities employer and particularly encourages women to apply. All candidates satisfying the requisite criteria have a chance to work in European PROGRES.

12. How long will the Programme be implemented?

European PROGRES was launched in May 2014 and will be implemented until the end of October 2017.