Making the Most of EU Funds for Roma (MtM) is an instrument to connect the Decade of Roma Inclusion objectives to EU financial resources and thus support European, national, and local governments in realizing the targets of the Roma Decade. Through project development assistance, financial and human capacity-building, and advocacy, the program seeks to create a critical mass of concerned governmental actors at all levels to keep Roma inclusion high on the policy agenda. MtM is concerned with problems such as the weak visibility of Roma issues in the implementation of EU cohesion policies at the national and local levels; resource and expertise disadvantages; and overly bureaucratic funding procedures, which block access of the most deprived to rights and opportunities.
Project Generating Facility
The Project Generating Facility is one intervention of the Making the Most which is aimed at building capacity of stakeholders at the local level to articulate Roma concerns as part of the local development agenda and to access EU funding in order to address these concerns. Started in 2008-2009 and continued in 2010-2011, the facility is operating in EU member states participating in the Decade of Roma Inclusion—Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.
Through project development assistance, training, and advocacy, the Project Generating Facility seeks solutions to problems such as weak visibility of Roma issues at local level, resource and expertise disadvantage, and overly bureaucratic funding procedures, which block access of the most deprived to rights and opportunities. The good practice and the problems identified in this process, feed into national advocacy action to promote favorable conditions for sustainable Roma inclusion action.
The Project Generating Facility is complemented by the Mentoring intervention, which offers to beneficiaries of Structural Funds services to enhance their competence for the delivery of inclusion targets and programs; to promote participation of Roma in local partnerships as well as to develop technical skills for project management. Through the Non-Eligible Costs/Supplementary funds intervention, the Open Society Foundations provide supplementary funding to cover costs which are central to achieving the goals of a project but are not covered from EU funds, with the goal of promoting innovative and cross-sectoral projects for Roma inclusion. Started in 2010 and continued in 2011 the Mentoring intervention is operating in Bulgaria and Hungary, and will be launched in the other MtM targeted countries. The Non-Eligible Costs/ Supplementary funds is operating in Bulgaria since 2010 and will be launched in the other MtM targeted countries.
The MtM program will address the following needed areas of intervention under the capacity building program: finance of and management for inclusion at the level of local governance, participatory governance, monitoring and evaluation by Roma and local authorities, involvement of Roma or experts on Roma in the management of inclusion programs at municipal levels, transparency and accountability of local governments on inclusion. In some cases, we will support capacity requests by Roma organizations as they relate to inclusion and governance. Through a European network Mayors Making the Most, we will connect the Decade countries to other EU counterparts in an attempt to raise the learning options for our partners. Also through MERI, we would like to identify field practices that will feed into the policy debates coming from the field and raise the profile of these debates to the EC levels.
Policy Analysis and Advocacy
MtM advocacy activities aim to draw policy level conclusions and recommendations from the field level experiences gathered mainly through project generation services. Furthermore, we analyze key national approaches and programs for using EU funds for Roma inclusion. Most of our activities support the best use of the funds in the 2014-20 period.