Given that each year substantial EU funds are allocated for project implementation at the national, regional and local level in the European Union and pre-accession countries, and in compliance with the Action Plan for the Realisation of the Priorities of the AP Vojvodina Development Programme 2014-2020, the European Affairs Fund of AP Vojvodina is implementing, in cooperation with the University of Novi Sad, the Specialised Programme “Management of Regional Development through EU Funds“, which has been included in the Plan under Priority 4 (Institutional infrastructure development), Measure 4.1 (Institutional framework development for decreasing regional disparities) under the title “Academy for European Affairs and Funds”.
The objective of the Specialised Programme “Management of Regional Development through EU Funds“ (hereinafter: the Programme) is information dissemination on the EU processes and regional policies, as well as on the importance and opportunities for accessing EU funds, so as to obtain an adequate expert analysis of regional development in the framework of EU integration and make relevant decisions and bring conclusions in terms of project management and programme and project documentation development in the EU accession process.
The Programme allows education coordination, so as to ensure the effect of transfer of know-how to stakeholders in the public and civil sector, as well as the dissemination of comprehensive information on the functioning of the EU, i.e. EU institutions, policy creation and implementation through funds available to member states and other countries in the pre-accession process. The Programme offers detailed information on a wide range of EU funds and programmes under which projects in different fields (environmental protection, economy, education, culture, etc.) are funded, development of successful projects, management of approved projects and control of the spending of EU funds. The purpose of this approach is the coordination of timely support and capacity building of the public administration in those aspects that are key to the use of EU funds in different sectors directly involved into the integration process.
Who is the Programme aimed at?
The Programme is aimed at the employees of local self-government units, provincial administration, development agencies, public utility enterprises, educational and cultural institutions, civil society organisations, small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs, universities, research institutes and other institutions that may be beneficiaries of EU funds.
The complete Programme is funded by the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina.
Within the framework of the Programme “Management of Regional Development through EU Funds“, Prof. Dr. Franz Schausberger, Chairman of the Institute of the Regions of Europe (IRE) and Special Advisor of the European Commission for EU enlargement countries held a lecture “Present Status on Serbia´s way to Europe” at the Department of the Faculty of Economics in Novi Sad on 24th June 2017.
The start of the new generation of the Programme "Management of Regional Development through EU Funds" has been marked at the Faculty of Economics in Novi Sad. The Programme is being implemented jointly by the European Affairs Fund of AP Vojvodina and Faculty of Economics in Subotica, with the support of the Provincial Government of Vojvodina....
A meeting with the representatives of the Development Office of College of Europe from Bruges was held at the Vojvodina European Office in Brussels on 7 April 2017. The topic of the meeting was enhancement of the Specialized Programme “Management of Regional Development through EU Funds”, which is carried out by the European Affairs Fund of AP Vоjvodina, whereas the whole Programme is financed from the budget of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina.
The certificates for the second generation of participants having successfully completed the Specialised Programme "Management of Regional Development through EU funds" were awarded at the ceremony held on 29 November 2016 at the Rectorate of the University of Novi Sad.
The opening ceremony of the Specialised Programme "Management of Regional Development through EU Funds" will be held at the Rectorate of the University of Novi Sad (in the multimedia hall) on 8th April 2016, commencing at 4 pm.
At the certificate award ceremony at the Assembly of AP Vojvodina today, certificates have been presented to the participants who have completed successfully the first cycle of the Specialised Programme "Management of Regional Development through EU Funds“....
Within the framework of the Specialised Programme “Management of Regional Development through EU Funds“, Sebastian Rihm, Director of the Danube Office in Ulm / Neu Ulm, Germany held a lecture at the main building of the University of Novi Sad on 6th November 2015. Sebastian Rihm’s presentation focused on the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), activities of the Danube Office in Ulm / Neu Ulm, Germany, and project planning in EU context.
Within the framework of the Specialised Programme “Management of Regional Development through EU Funds“, a professional practice was held in Istria County, Croatia from 29th June to 2nd July 2015, on the basis of the signed Protocol of Cooperation between the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and Istria County, and given the fact that Istria County proved to be an example of best practice in use of EU funds....
The Programme involves 19 teaching disciplines with a class load of 325 lessons of active teaching. The time frame of the Programme is 22 working weeks (for all 6 modules). The lectures are held in Novi Sad on Friday afternoons and Saturdays, in a block of 15 classes per week (5 classes on Fridays and 10 classes on Saturdays). The teaching involves classical lectures, interactive workshops, case studies, seminar papers and hands-on experience in preparing project ideas for EU funds.
The lecturers are foreign and national experts having extensive theoretic background and practical experience in the management of EU funds and programmes, such as the EU programmes and Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA).
Municipal Administration of Vrbas
In accordance with the overall and specific objectives, the Program “Management of Regional Development through EU Funds” contributes to the understanding of policies and legislative procedures of the European Union, as well as to the acquisition of knowledge about different stakeholders in the decision-making, especially in the field of regional policy, in a most efficient, effective and optimally employable way.
The Programme offers a comprehensive insight into the structure of EU funds and programmes and builds a quality base for the improvement of regional development by training the participants in project development, planning and implementation.
Involving interactive teaching and renowned professors having extensive theoretical background and practical experience in EU funds, the Programme participants can gain directly applicable know-how that will help them in their future career.
The Program “Management of Regional Development through EU Funds” builds and establishes an institutional network among the participants in a qualitatively proportional way, and thus explicitly contributes to regional development.
Centre for Sustainable Communities
This is one of the best vocational education programmes I have ever taken or, as an activist of the non-governmental sector and journalist, attended. After the first meeting with the organisers, lecturers and trainees, it was clear to me that I would obtain more than useful knowledge about the European Union, on the basis of which, in accordance with the capacities of myself and the organisation whose member I am, I could contribute to awareness raising of the public, i.e. our country’s citizens of the EU values and to gaining more benefits of the planned projects of the “Centre for Sustainable Communities”.
I am very pleased to be in the position, by talking to my colleagues from different environments, fields of work and institutions, to get a more profound insight into the problems that citizens face in their everyday lives that could be addressed positively by regional development projects and the EU. The Programme allows us education, practical work and networking, which fully qualifies it. What contributes to the quality to a great extent are excellent lecturers, specialists in their fields of expertise, who are excellent at transferring their extensive knowledge and experience.
The association I represent is focused on ecology, sustainable development and agriculture and so far, it has implemented several projects in these areas, mainly based on information dissemination on the functioning of those sectors in the EU and the opportunities and need for their improvement here. Given that the funds for agriculture and rural development will soon be available to Serbia, I will try to contribute to utilising that kind of EU support in the best possible way, by means of the information and knowledge gained in the Programme ‘Management of Regional Development though EU Funds’ and through a range of planned activities.
Municipal Council of Pećinci
As one of the trainees of the first generation of the Programme ‘Management of Regional Development though EU Funds’, I would like to point out first that I’m honoured to have been selected to be a part of such a team and idea.
As far as the first module is concerned, I find that it was organised and implemented at the highest level possible. The fact is that emphasis was placed on familiarisation with the EU policy, gaining of knowledge of the stakeholders and institutions involved in the EU decision-making and legislative procedures and preparation of us, trainees, for the development and implementation of EU projects, which implementation involved a number of subjects, such as EU procedures and legal aspects; Programming of structural and pre-accession EU funds; Efficacy, decision-making and negotiation in the European Union; EU policy and sustainable regional development. I find that all the aforementioned was most important for us to build a complete picture and develop foreknowledge, so that we could start with the practical work. Moreover, in my view, the presentation of all the subjects was raised to the highest possible level judged by the fact that experts were engaged who could share with us a part of their extensive experience.
This is a programme that has allowed us to gain knowledge and experience from experts, such as Prof. Zoltan Vig PhD, Gordana Lazarević, Prof. Dragan Golubović PhD, Prof. Vesna Bengin Crnojević PhD, Prof. Ana Trbović PhD, Prof. Mihajlo Crnobrnja PhD, Doc. Dejan Radulović PhD, Ana Žegarac and Andrija Aleksić. I also think that no other programme, faculty or experience from another job could equip us with the same. Thus, all compliments for the excellent selection of lecturers.
The programme has also allowed us the share of know-how with the lecturers, as well as interaction among the trainees, because you have made a good choice of the first generation of trainees, which will also be of great importance in our future work.
In brief, this Programme has fully met my expectations, what’s more, I find that such an idea should become practice in the following period.
Public Agency for Agriculture and Small Businesses of Kikinda Municipality
I must admit that I was very happy when I was informed by the European Affairs Fund of AP Vojvodina that I had been accepted for the Programme ‘Management of Regional Development though EU Funds’. I can say that my expectations regarding the training course were high because I thought I could learn a lot about EU fund management, as well as project development and implementation.
At the middle of its implementation, the Programme has fully met my expectations: quality lecturers sharing their knowledge and experience have been involved; printed and e-copies of presentations have been made available; insight into the structure and programmes of EU funds has been provided; we have been informed about the EU rules and procedures, successful projects and their implementation, errors likely to occur in project development and ways to avoid them; group work as per the principle of workshops, with direct involvement in project development; certificate award after successful competition of the Programme.
City Administration of Pančevo
When I learned that I had been selected to participate in the Specialised Programme “Management of Regional Development through EU Funds”, I felt honoured and special. I applied in the hope of being at the source of information related to the calls for co-financing/financing projects in the financial period 2014-2020, and with a desire to gain additional know-how and skills in this area and apply them in my work at the City Administration of Pančevo.
I was given the opportunity to combine all my knowledge of EU processes and systematise my understanding of EU regional policies. It is a special satisfaction when you are lead in this process by the best university professors in the region and the best experts in this field. I will maximally try to transfer the specific know-how and skills, which I will gain in the programme, to my work, and thus contribute to the local and regional development. The contacts that I have established with colleagues and institutions involved in the Programme are of great value, so is the certificate of great importance.
Provincial Secretariat of Finance
I hereby express my satisfaction that I was given the opportunity to be a part of the first group of participants in the Specialised Programme “Management of Regional Development through EU Funds”. I think that all participants were selected after careful consideration, because they come from different organizations/institutions of Vojvodina. The lecturers are great experts who have gained their knowledge and experience of EU funds as advisors and consultants in our country’s negotiation process or as scientists, i.e. professors of subjects related to the EU at the institutions of higher education. It was a pleasure to listen to Prof. Rodoljub Etinski, Prof. Mihajlo Crnobrnja and all the others.
Because of laying special emphasis on the importance of the strategy of innovation progress, I was especially impressed by Prof. Vesna Bengin Crnojević, who is also the coordinator of one of the best projects “ANTARES“, which I believe will contribute to the enhancement of the innovation progress of Vojvodina.
The classes are interactive, involving classical lectures, group workshops and a showcase of best practice. More precisely, in group work, we develop project ideas and prepare project proposals that could be financed from EU funds. For all the aforementioned, the classes are well attended even though they take place beyond the working hours. It is an investment that will pay off.
I believe that such a model of education will contribute to the strengthening of the institutional structure in Vojvodina, creation of conditions for easier access to funds and implementation of quality projects, which will accelerate the regional development and competitiveness of our region.
Bečej Youth Association
I find the Programme ‘Management of Regional Development though EU Funds’ a pleasant surprise given the innovative concept that offers concrete know-how and contacts. I have attended a number of both formal and non-formal types of education, however, I have not seen a programme that is so comprehensive and that deals with the current topic in such ‘great depth’.
The lecturers are experts who are ready to share their experience, whereas the group is a quality blend of different trainees’ profiles who share an interest in regional development and EU funds. I hope that the effect of this Programme will be measured by tens of development projects in Vojvodina supported through EU funds. That’s my motive for participation.
Citizens’ Association “Razvoj sela (Village Development) – RASEL”, Čoka
In my previous education, I have attended several training courses, but the Programme “Management of Regional Development through EU Funds” distinguishes itself for its seriousness, systematized approach and a wide range of topics that are interesting, instructive, and above all useful. The lectures held so far in the Programme have equipped me with practical know-how and tools that can be applied in future projects, which are related to the management of regional development.
What distinguishes this Programme is the professional training in the EU regions, which will help us to supplement and understand better the theoretic part of the lectures and improve the work of our organization by acquiring personal experience.
The lecturers are experts in their fields and it is an honour to work with them because they share their knowledge and experience with the participants selflessly in an understandable and adequate way.
The participants in the Programme form a coherent whole and we function as a team, even though our professional orientations are different.
Sombor City Administration
“My motive for participation in the Specialised Programme ‘Management of Regional Development through EU Funds’ was my wish to acquire knowledge and increase my capacities, the need to contribute to a more efficient approach to EU funds both of Sombor and of the region, first of all, by a higher quality project proposal development, and to be better informed about the project implementation procedures in compliance with the EU regulations.
The Programme will generally contribute to the capacity building of AP Vojvodina to access EU funds, and thus, have impact on the implementation of primarily economic and social activities. Moreover, it will enhance the economic potentials, cooperation and networking of economic stakeholders and citizens in the region.
The selection of competent lecturers has contributed to the quality of the Programme reaching a really high level. The lectures are interactive, the group work allows the participants to create a network of their potential partners and associates in the future projects.
The Programme takes place on weekends for two semesters, which involves a great deal of investment and effort by the ones working full-time and coming from different towns, however, the knowledge and experience gained in lectures are true value.”
The lifelong learning Specialized Programme ‘Management of Regional Development through EU Funds’, which is aimed at professionals employed in local institutions in Vojvodina and being implemented successfully by the European Affairs Fund of AP Vojvodina, is a quality idea professionally implemented at the University of Novi Sad, and in our view, most needed in the development of our society at this point of time.
Nowadays, the training of experts for active involvement in European projects is perhaps the most important task of administrations at all levels of governance, from those at the lowest local level to those at the highest provincial and national ones. The knowledge gained in this Programme includes a wide range of necessary and important topics and tasks to be analysed from the aspect of economic progress, legal regulations, urban development and other areas that should lead to the positive transformation of society and improve the quality of life in our cities. One of the most important strategies in social development is investment in education, and the one that is practical, specific and intended for mastering skills in EU project development should contribute to new social values. Such a concept is very important and valuable because its goal is all what is necessary for us today, such as economic development, investment, new jobs, adequate legislation, urban qualities and a number of other aspects of progress.
Chairman of the Board Institute of the Regions of Europe (IRE)
The Programme “Management of Regional Development through EU Funds” is an outstanding initiative conducted by the European Affairs Fund of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, in cooperation with the University of Novi Sad.
For EU candidate countries, such as Serbia, it is crucial to adapt the EU laws as soon as possible and become well-informed on the many financial possibilities the EU offers. Only if projects with the EU are prepared and realized successfully, regional and local prosperity can be guaranteed. Most of the EU laws are implemented on subnational level - in the regions and cities of the Member States. Hence, passing on the know-how on EU processes to the regional officials in a study programme is a perfect preparation for Serbia. The key to a well-structured integration is the engagement of public administrators in this process. The appropriate use of the know-how will benefit the economic development of the regions and cities greatly.
The Institute of the Regions of Europe is involved in this programme because we strongly believe in the regionalisation of Europe and a Europe closer to its citizens.
Faculty of Economics, Finance and Administration
It is my honour and pleasure to have the opportunity to give my contribution to the Programme, which is, in my view, excellent. As a lecturer in the teaching discipline “Efficiency, decision-making and negotiation in the EU’’, I tried to give real examples from practice, since I have been in the position to take part in a lot of negotiations during my career in diplomacy and state affairs. The participants of such a programme will gain insight and knowledge from the academic point of view, as well as hands-on experience, which is a great connection and makes this Programme unique in our region.
The Programme ‘Management of Regional Development through EU Funds’, which is jointly being implemented by the European Affairs Fund of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and University of Novi Sad, is an example of quality and modern lifelong learning programme in terms of the selection of problem area interesting for a wider range of beneficiaries, comprehensiveness of conceived content, competency of engaged lecturers and modern methodology of work.
The acquisition of knowledge of the opportunities offered by EU programmes to enhance regional development is of vital importance for the development of competent teaching staff in the government and non-governmental sector, various institutions and economy, which has been proven by the interest of a greater number of candidates than the Programme allows. Involving six complementary modules being implemented in a semester, engaging lecturers from a wider range of institutions having considerable experience in this field, the Programme has combined the necessary theoretical basis about the EU and acquisition of know-how and skills in the development of competitive EU projects, thus offering professional knowledge for the optimum use of different EU programmes and support funds. The interactive work methodology provides for the trainees’ active participation in the implementation of the planned programme and its permanent adaptation to their interest, and the participants are equipped with accompanying material serving as necessary literature for further implementation of acquired knowledge. Continuous monitoring of the programme implementation by the Programme coordinators and Programme Council, with a constant insight into the participants’ opinion, has contributed to its successful implementation, and at the same time confirming the future potential of the Programme.
The “Management of Regional Development through EU Funds” is a unique and comprehensive interdisciplinary programme being jointly implemented by the European Affairs Fund of Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and the University of Novi Sad. The interdisciplinarity of the Programme is visible through a dialogue and interaction between the legal, economic and managerial teaching subjects. It is implemented in six complementary modules, with a total of 325 contact hours of instruction.
The implementation of the Programme within 19 teaching disciplines constantly encourages and increases the competitiveness of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, as a well-rounded and comprehensive European region in terms of the accession to EU funds and implementation of EU projects. The increase of the competitiveness of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina results from constant capacity building and development of skills and competences of each individual in the Programme, encouraging both individuality and teamwork in solving specific problems with reference to different EU programmes.
Further information: Management of Regional Development through EU Funds