Erasmus+ Opening the Doors

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Erasmus + Opening the Doors 2019.

The second conference “Erasmus+ opening the doors” happened as a part of the three-year
project that is being implemented by the Environment Engineering Group, within the program
“Novi Sad -European Youth Capital for 2019”. It gathered representatives of youth organizations
from six Balkan countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo (According
to UN Resolution 1244),North Macedonia and Serbia) and decision makers in European Union
that have certain impact on youth programs. The aim of the Conference was to establish
structuring dialogue, networking and synergistic influence on improving the position and
opportunities of the youth in Balkan countries.
After the opening inputs and presentations from Mr. Igor Jezdimirović (Environment
Engineering Group), Mr. Andrej Troha (SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre) and Mr.
Srđan Mitrović via Skype (Tempus Foundation), participants attended one of the three panels
dedicated to discussions about the Erasmus+ Programme’s key actions:

1. Key action 1: Learning Mobility of Individuals

2. Key action 2: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

3. Key action 3: Support for policy reform

As a joint work, participants of the Conference formulated their recommendations according to
the decision maker/organization they are addressing.

KEY ACTION 1- LEARNING MOBILITY OF INDIVIDUALS

1. Promotion of the program

Recommendations for SALTO, contact points and organizations

Use social media channels. The Program is made for young people and it needs to be presented in way
they understand, on the places where they are.

Organize high-schools promotions. This would mean that the Program would go directly to its future
users.

Work on organizing Euro peer network. Young ambassadors of the Program who have experience with it
should be organized in support group for the newcomers.

Use role models in promotion of the Program.

2.    Project proposals preparation

Recommendations for national agencies, contact points and SALTO:

To offer coaching and co-working possibilities for organizations entering the Program.

Digital tools that are used for communication and presentations should be more user friendly. (e.g. web
site of Tempus needs to be clearer and easy to search for both young people and youth organizations)

Recommendations for national agencies:

Within National agencies contact person for KA1 should be available for organizations with no
experience. Special emphasis should be put on budget preparation since this is the weak point of many.

3.    Quality of project implementation

Recommendations for EACEA:

Peer support system should be available to organizations with no experience while they are implementing
their first project. At this “platform” they could ask the questions, look for needed support and
clarifications.

KEY ACTION 2: COOPERATION FOR INNOVATION AND THE EXCHANGE OF
GOOD PRACTICIES

Promotion

Recommendations for SALTO, national agencies and EACEA:

Info days are not enough as a support measure for newcomers, especially youth organizations;
establish a mentorship system, where experienced organizations partner up and mentor the new
youth organizations and for doing so get awarded points and recognition.

Recommendations for SALTO, national agencies, contact points and beneficiaries:

Promote the programme more in high schools; Start from schools, the earlier the better

Recommendations for SALTO, national agencies and contact points:

Support establishing partnerships between CSOs and public bodies (universities, high schools) in

E+ projects

Recommendations for SALTO:

Open 3 contact points in B&H; in all WB countries – more contact points, more promotion, better support; bigger budget for Contact points

Encourage organizations from the WB countries to apply for the Quality Label of European
Solidarity Corps

Recommendations for EACEA:

To extend info session on the KA2 Western Balkan youth window call for proposals (In the form
of webinar), and to be organized earlier in respect to deadlines.

Project design

Recommendations for national agencies, EACEA and governments:

More budget in National agencies of the EU countries for the cooperation with partner countries

Recommendations for national agencies, SALTO and contact points:

Make it more accessible to Universities and high schools to apply by supporting and raising
awareness of these bodies about technical necessities, e.g. having a separate bank account for the
project; having only one account makes it difficult to manage projects on day by day basis

Recommendations for national agencies and EACEA:

Simplify project applications so they become more youth friendly and so, not be exclusive to
experienced organizations working for youth.

Recommendations for EACEA and governments:

More than 1 deadline for centralized applying for the Western Balkan Window

Recommendations for governments:

Advocacy and support measures for the WB countries to become equal partners in ESC as soon
as 2020

B&H: Government should co-fund E+ projects (like in Serbia, Ministry for Youth)

Equal partnership between civil society and government in decision-making and implementation

Implementation

Recommendations for beneficiaries:

Respect guidelines, e.g. YPWFO involvement for real – much more outreach activities

Young people should be involved in ALL project phases and decision-making

Recommendations for EACEA:

Not to change project officers during the implementation

Publish selection results faster; current trend is 5 months and also has a considerable delay

KEY ACTION 3: SUPPORT FOR POLICY REFORM- PROCESS

Recommendations for the European Commission

To implement the evaluation and monitoring of projects in Partner Countries, with special focus
on quality of the project implementation.

Recommendations for the National Agencies (in this case the Serbian NA, Tempus Foundation)

To actively promote possibilities to reflect and exchange ideas (through trainings, exchanges,
meetings);

To support new organizations to use the programme;

To organize more training courses on HOW TO write, develop and report on E+ programme ,
especially aimed at new organizations (not experienced in the programme) and new people from
active organizations;

To increase the budget for KA3 projects;

To relocate bigger budget for TCA.

Recommendations for SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre

To increase financial and other support for contact points in partner countries;

To implement monitoring of the work of contact points, especially in terms of human resources
and capacity;

To consider having 3 contact points in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Recommendations for the Governments

To provide adequate spaces for youth;

To provide support for youth networks;

To provide financial support for the contact points

To provide budget for co-financing of Erasmus+ projects.

Recommendations for contact points

To organize more training courses on HOW TO write, develop and report on E+ programme ,
especially aimed at new organizations (not experienced in the programme) and new people from
organizations;

To organize more info sessions and promotional events for the programme.


Erasmus + Opening the Doors 2018.

Commenting Guide

The Conference “Erasmus+ opening the doors” happened as a part of the three-year project that is being implemented by the Environment Engineering Group, within the program “Novi Sad -European Youth Capital for 2019”. It gathered up to 50 representatives of youth organizations from six Balkan countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo (According to UN Resolution 1244), Macedonia and Serbia) and decision makers in European Union that have certain impact on youth programs. The aim of the Conference was to establish structuring dialogue, networking and synergistic influence on improving the position and opportunities of the youth in Balkan countries.

After the opening inputs and presentations from Mr. Igor Jezdimirović (Environment Engineering Group), Ms. Sonja Mitter (SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre) and Mr. Srđan Mitrović (Tempus Foundation), participants attended one of the three panels dedicated to discussions about the Erasmus+ Programme’s key actions:
1. Key action 1: Learning Mobility of Individuals
2. Key action 2: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
3. Key action 3: Support for policy reform

As a joint work, participants of the Conference formulated their recommendations according to the decision maker/organization they are addressing.

 

KEY ACTION 1- LEARNING MOBILITY OF INDIVIDUALS

1. Promotion of the Program

Recommendations for National agencies, contact points and organizations

to use youth friendly language and approach and to consider new presentation approac

to involve role models in promotion of the program in formal and non-formal settings where young people are

to create opportunities for introducing the Program by former users, EVS participants, youth exchanges participants, etc. (Peer to peer presentation)

to divide program promotion targeting youth workers concerning their experience. It should be made:

to offer more information to the ones already involved in work with youth and

to motivate the ones that were at EVS, participating in some trainings, exchanges, etc.

to cooperate with all institutions working with youth- youth offices, schools, hubs etc. on informing and motivating youth workers to get involved in the Program.

 

2. Project proposals preparation

Recommedations for National agencies and contact points:

to give to the youth organizations more support on basic level (information, procedures…).

to make basic trainings for preparation of application for organization and continue with support of experienced youth workers and organizations.

the supporting network to be more available

Recommendation for the EACEA:
Applying procedure to be less complex.

 

3. Quality of project implementation

Recommendation for youth organizations:

to ensure the involvement of direct and indirect beneficiaries in project preparation. Preparation activities for participants of youth exchanges to have more components- language learning, intercultural competences, etc.

 

KEY ACTION 2: COOPERATION FOR INNOVATION AND THE EXCHANGE OF GOOD PRACTICIES

Capacity building in the field of youth – Western Balkans (WB)

Recommendations for EACEA:

to continue the practice of CBY WB projects in the same form– with EACEA coordinating and monitoring the process of application, selection, implementation and reporting of the CBY WB projects.

Application Process

Recommendations for the EACEA:

to simplify application forms documentation: instead of having different documents (word for project description, pdf for project application, excel for budget) all needed for one project, we recommend to try to develop all those in one pdf document or any similar.

to ensure functional online reporting with respect to each project’s deadlines.

Promotion

Recommendations for SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre and the EACEA:

to consider new approach in promoting increased participation of public bodies in capacity building projects in the field of youth

Recommendations for SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre

to develop and implement some (innovative) activities of promotion of the Programme and the Western Balkans Window towards the public institutions, bodies and respective governments

to increase and diversify the promotion activities on the funding available for capacity building projects in the field of youth.

Strategic partnerships in the field of youth

Recommendations for European Commission / EACEA

to reconsider the rule where “the organisations from Partner Countries can be involved in a Strategic Partnership, as partners (not as applicants), if their participation brings an essential added value to the project”.

 

KEY ACTION 3: SUPPORT FOR POLICY REFORM- PROCESS

Recommendations for the European Commission

to provide more support and opportunities to the informal groups of young people, especially regarding involvement in KA3 projects, but also for the programme in general;

to explore possibilities and provide opportunity for partner countries to be involved in KA3 projects as direct beneficiaries;

to actively stimulate Programme Countries to extend their cooperation with Partner Countries (beyond the added value)

to support (and initiate) the process of establishing the National Agencies for Erasmus+ in Western Balkan Countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania).

to implement the evaluation and monitoring of projects in Partner Countries, with special focus on quality of the project implementation.

Recommendations for the National Agencies (in this case the Serbian NA, Tempus Foundation)

to actively promote possibilities to reflect and exchange ideas (through trainings, exchanges, meetings);

to stimulate (establishing and) improvement of relations between youth NGOs and the government;

to advocate among other NAs for higher level of involvement of youth organizations coming from Partner countries into KA1 and KA2 projects;

to organize more training courses on HOW TO write, develop and report on E+ programme (this was also listed as a recommendation to the national contact points)

to increase the budget for KA3 projects.

Recommendations for SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre

to be more involved into promotion of the Erasmus+ through direct involvement and through organizing events;

to increase financial support for contact points in partner countries;

to involve more Governmental institutions into activities and meetings;

to improve visibility of the contact points in partner countries.

Recommendations for the Governments

to get actively involved in structured dialogue with youth;

to increase cross-sectoral cooperation on youth policy;

to establish budget lines that will be dedicated for the co-funding of the Erasmus+ and other youth programs;

to establish budget lines for young people mobility actions;

to adopt the Law on Youth which predicts establishment of the Erasmus+ National Agency;

to support the process of establishing National agencies in Partner countries;

to use existing mechanisms (to implement law/strategies) in order to involve youth in decision making process by involving them in governmental work bodies.

Recommendations for youth NGOs

to motivate and stimulate other NGOs to get a ESC accreditation;

to make additional efforts to involve young people from vulnerable groups into their activities;

to advocate louder for young people’s involvement in decision making processes

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