The municipality of Kumanovo has not published a call for funds from the municipal budget for CSOs, stated local associations during the Mobile Resource Center held on June 13 in the premises of the National Roma Centrum. In the future, they expect greater transparency of the municipality, especially with respect to financing CSOs.
During the meeting, participants expressed the need for assistance with project cycle management, from writing applications to project implementation. Organisations face complicated administrative procedures, thus, they use outsourcing, however, the organisations themselves remain with weak capacities.
The organisations from Kumanovo are not satisfied with the cooperation with the institutions from which they receive only “declarative support”. Institutions’ representatives do not appear at key events and they do not support the organisations in the implementation of the activities. Therefore, it was concluded that it is important to build relations on a continuous basis, not just during one project cycle.
The Civil Society Resource Centre team also met with Maja Petkovska from the Unit for International Cooperation and European Integration from the Municipality of Kumanovo. The conversation with her showed that the municipality does not have a register of active CSOs. According to her, there is no register of projects implemented by Kumanovo organisations, thus they do not have accurate information on the amount of EU funds allocated in Kumanovo.
Ms. Petkovska agreed that there is a weak cooperation with the organisations, which mainly involves signing memorandums of cooperation, but also pointed out the lack of seriousness of associations that do not inform the municipality about the outcomes, i.e. what they have implemented within the projects. The reason why the municipality does not allocate funds to the organisations is the small budget.
She stated that she was content with the use of funds for CSOs awarded through the EU-funded ReLOaD project implemented through UNDP and the Municipality of Kumanovo. In addition, she praised the interest of the associations for involvement in the community forums, with over 150 people at the first session and with many interesting ideas.