The European Union launched on 17 January 2020 in Cahul the first of the two initiatives under the new "EU4Moldova: Focal Regions" programme. The EU is investing 22.8 million euros, in a total budget of 23.3 million euros, to spur smart, inclusive and sustainable economic development in the areas of Cahul and Ungheni. The initiative EU4Cahul will involve Cahul city and its neighboring communities within the Cahul district during 2019-2025.
A similar initiative under the EU4Moldova: Focal Regions will be soon announced also for Ungheni (EU4Ungheni).
The launch event in Cahul combined a fair of local producers, a drawing competition on the subject of “How do I see my city changing in 5 years time" which registered more than 120 works submitted, so as a concert of artists, including some native from Cahul.
“The municipality of Cahul represents Moldova's southern capital and needs support for the development of different sectors. I would like to thank the EU and its member states for selecting us as pilot region to benefit from assistance. We know what our priorities and projects are and would like to assure our partners of our commitment for accountability, transparency and integrity in the implementation of this programme,” noted Nicolae Dandis, mayor of Cahul city.
The EU Focal Region of Cahul shall benefit from substantial EU support to improve the quality of life of its citizens, ideally to a level comparable with EU standards. The "EU Focal Regions" is a pilot initiative which aims at spurring systemic changes by creating stronger synergies from past, ongoing and future EU funded initiatives and the other many projects of Donors Development partners and Public Institutions. Filling the gaps and connecting the dots among these initiatives will create a solid and sustainable basis for a long-lasting economic development.
“I am proud to launch this ambitious EU initiative. The EU is investing substantial resources to engage with citizens and local communities to create strong partnerships on the basis of common values. This programme serves citizens, aiming at improving their day to day life. I am convinced that altogether we will make Cahul and Ungheni the smart, inclusive and sustainable growth poles of Moldova,” declared Peter Michalko, European Union Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova.
The EU Focal Regions will also contribute to increase the investment and entrepreneurship attractiveness of the areas by fostering their role as growth poles also by leveraging the Smart Specialisation approach with the view of creating new and attractive job opportunities.
“Now we are all ready to embark on its implementation, delivering direct benefits to the people of Cahul. We will focus on transparency and citizen participation in decision-making, on smart access to quality local public services, on delivering new employment opportunities and improving investment attraction, and on the Smart economic specialization,” said Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative for the Republic of Moldova.
The EU4Cahul is also ensuring inclusive development in line with the goals and aspirations of the renewed European Union (EU) Youth Strategy 2019-2027 seeking to engage, connect and empower young people. During the next 5 years this EU initiative will support a number of initiatives on social services, such as education and protection services for adolescents and children, including child care services but also policies in favour of children and youth will be improved as well as innovative tools will be deployed to ensure youth empowerment, engagement and participation.
“This EU4Cahul initiative will contribute too to the goals and aspirations of the EU-UNICEF partnership within the Generation Unlimited initiative, focused on developing a powerful approach to bridge education to employment and entrepreneurship. And least but not last, we will indeed support raising awareness on child rights, as Moldova’s Association Agreement with the EU emphasizes also cooperation for the protection and promotion of the rights of the child”, mentioned Desiree Jongsma, UNICEF Moldova Country Representative.
The programme is also meant to improve citizens’ engagement in the decision-making process through strengthened transparency and accountability of local public authorities. Citizens will be involved and engaged throughout the project. The first competition was also announced at the launch event, a Call for Ideas for improvement of Cahul city center. Ideas are being collected and the most inspiring, innovative or interestingshall be awarded. More details are available on eu4cahul.md.
During the event falling under the same EU4Moldova umbrella, other EU funded projects were announced, including with the support from Germany and Sweden. The Ambassador of Germany was present at the event and praised the EU4Moldova: Focal Regions programme.
Among other EU funded initiatives is the project implemented by UN Women on consolidating capacities in the field of gender equality in the districts of Cahul and Ungheni, with a budget of 5.25 million euro, which will focus on promoting gender sensitive local policies and domestic violence prevention.
For additional information, please contact: Laura Bohantova, Communications Analyst, UNDP Moldova, tel +373 685 11 883, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org