Civil Society Organisations in Sveti Nikole ask for greater transparency from the Municipality

4 Apr 2019

CSOs from Sveti Nikole are not satisfied with the support provided by the Municipality. In order to receive financial support, they need to submit applications, and the municipality informs them of the approved funds, which are, in general, smaller than the requested amount. With the rebalance of the municipal budget, this amount can be reduced, and it may not be paid at all, for which no one is responsible because the municipality does not sign an agreement with the associations. This practice was pointed out by representatives of associations from Sveti Nikole during the Mobile Resource Center on March 29, 2019, which was organised in cooperation with the Women’s Organisation of the Municipality of Sveti Nikole.

According to them, more transparency and methodology for allocation of the funds is needed, since the current practice does not give positive results.

Except that, organisations face a lack of space for work. They believe that there are abandoned buildings and premises that can be renovated and used for their needs. Even though the mayors have promised to meet their needs, this has not happened yet. The use of the space in the House of the Culture is not considered as a serious and permanent solution because it is not always available for them to use it.

Another challenge is the weak capacity of the associations for writing project applications, lack of interest from the youth to engage in the civil society as well as lack of initiatives.

The Civil Society Resource Center team also met with the Mayor Saso Velkovski. At the meeting, he noted that he himself comes from a CSO, i.e. the Voluntary Fire Fighting Association of Sveti Nikole, thus he understands the CSOs’ challenges in their operation.

Regarding the support for the associations, 1,000,000 MKD are foreseen from the budget of the Municipality for 2019. Velkovski noted that there is a methodology for allocating the funds, i.e. there is an open call announced and an application is required. The municipality chooses which parts of the programs can be financially supported, and then the Department for Local Economic Development (LED) makes the selection and monitors the implementation.

Establishment of a Youth Cultural Center in Sveti Nikole is foreseen.

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