EC does not know how much money goes to EU projects on Romanies

(PDM staff with CTK) 29 September - The European Commission (EC) does not yet know how much money the European Social Fund (ESF) will give to projects to improve Romany integration, employment and education, Hana Velecka from the Commission told CTK Tuesday.

Velecka, who works at the office of the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, said that a database of the projects which the ESF supported is yet to be made.

"We depend on the EU member countries. We send them money for projects, but they do not have to send us information on them," Velecka said.

The EC wants to have the information from the countries by the end of October. The planned database should monitor not only cash flow, but also the effect of the projects focused on Romanies. The Czech Republic may draw some EUR 13.5 billion by 2006 from the ESF for projects supporting employment, establishing new jobs or on education.

The Czech side has to pay 20 to 50 percent of the whole budget.

Velecka said that Romany projects must be part of a larger strategy and be related to each other. Projects on Romanies in the social integration programme or services make up about one-fourth of the applications for ESF money. About one-fourth of these projects are supported by the EU, said Zdenka Kucerova from the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry.

"Only a minority of projects succeed as many of them are of low quality. Their authors are not prepared to create complicated projects," Kucerova said.

CTK news edited by the staff of the Prague Daily Monitor, a Monitor CE service.

Well surprise, surprise - NOT. How could they know if they never seem to request accounts and accountability of the recipient organizations such as the IRU, the ERTF and others? Money is being poured into those projects but they never seem to achieve anything with the exception of creating a nice little earner for those that administer those projects, and the bulk of the money seems to end up in the black hole of the pockets of the Baros and Bulibashas instead of benefiting the poor Romani at grassroots level, even though those projects, in their claims, are supposed to alleviate the poverty of the grassroots Romani in the various countries.