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The key goals of the Belarus 2016-2020 Social and Economic Development Programme are as follows: recover economic growth, enhance the economy's competitive edge, attract investments and provide for innovative development. A special emphasized is placed on regional and local development. Despite higher economic growth rates demonstrated by regions today, as compared to the national capital, the gap between the lifestyles has been expanding, which poses the threat of sociodemographic degradation of small towns and villages. The Mayors for Economic Growth Initiative offers a state-of-the-art approach to local economic development management that has proved successful throughout the world.
Goals and objectives: The project is aimed at capacity building of local authorities in Eastern Partnership counties including Belarus; providing incentives for economic growth and improving local employment rates.
Interim outcomes: The Mayors for Economic Growth founding documents (concept, membership application, recommendations on the structure and content of local economic development plans) have been developed and distributed in the countries of the region.
As of December 2017, 205 towns and regions, including 17 from Belarus, have joined to the Initiative, having voluntarily committed themselves to facilitation of economic development and local employment.
In spring 2017, the European Commission announced the first grant contest for implementation of pilot projects within the Mayors for Economic Growth Initiative with an overall budget of Euro 9.5 million. According to the outcomes of the competitive selection held in October, the right for financial support was awarded to 16 local administrations/winners, inter alia, 1 from Armenia, 3 from Georgia, 3 from Belarus, 3 from Moldova and 6 from Ukraine. The Belarusian winners are Brahin, Hlybokaje and Slaŭharad District Executive Committees. The total EU financial support is expected to exceed Euro 1.6 mln. At the present, they are carrying out procedures required for signing relevant agreements with the EU Delegation to Belarus.
In September, an assessment of the local authorities' management capacity was carried out in all six Eastern Partnership countries. It covered more than 400 representatives of local administrations including 100 from Belarus. The assessment findings will inform the development of a serious of training programmes on development of the capacity of the local administrations that have joined the Initiative.
The first large-scale four-stage training programme in the sphere of local economic development planning was launched in November 2017. The first programme module covered 115 representatives of the signatory parties in the region, including 16 from Belarus.
Contacts: Mr. Peter Korsby, Project Team Leader
+995 557 938 308, email@example.com
Mrs. Natalia Efremenko, Project Country Coordinator for Belarus
+375 29 644 69 54, firstname.lastname@example.org
Documents: Mayors for Economic Growth (concept)