Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Independent: More than €382,000 in grants to civil society organisations

10 January 2012

Justice, Dialogue and the Family Minister Chris Said, in his first official event as minister yesterday, presented cheques to constituted bodies and other representative organisations to assist them to participate in European umbrella organisations, groupings, federations, confederations or networks and in attending conferences, seminars and meetings abroad on matters related to the European Union (EU) in relation to such affiliation.

Meusac’s Civil Society Fund (CSF) is aimed at assisting civil society organisations to keep abreast of developments in the EU and enabling them to educate their members about EU matters related to their respective fields of competence as well as to participate effectively in the decision-making process at European level.

For 2011/2012, 35 civil society organisations will be benefiting from over €382,000. The CSF provides financial support of up to 80% of the eligible costs borne by the organisations.

The minister said that the civil society must continue to actively participate in the process of the formulation of the government’s position on EU matters. He also stated that Meusac’s role is to empower NGOs so that they benefit more from Malta’s EU membership.

Vanni Xuereb, Meusac head, said that in 2011, over one-third of Meusac’s budget allocation went to civil society organisations, assisting them to improve their knowledge and familiarity with EU affairs. He added that by so doing, Meusac was investing in itself since it is the civil society organisations that participate in the consultation mechanism that justify the purpose for the existence of an organisation such as Meusac.

Eligible organisations must be voluntary, self-governing organisations that regularly and actively participate in the Meusac consultation process, the Core Group or one of the nine sectoral committees. All organisations benefiting from the CSF have entered into a written grant agreement with Meusac.

The beneficiaries of the Civil Society Fund are Aditus, Association of Anaesthesiologists of Malta, Association of Speech Language Pathologists, Chambers of Engineers, Confederation of Malta Trade Unions (CMTU), Federated Association of Travel and Tourism Agents (FATTA), FOR.U.M, General Workers’ Union (GWU), Geriatric Medicine Society of Malta, Għaqda tal-Konsumaturi, Gozo Business Chamber, Hair and Beauty Federation, Jesuit Refugee Service, Kamra tal-Periti, Malta Association of Physiotherapists, Malta Chamber of Pharmacists, Malta Chamber of SMEs (GRTU), Malta Dental Technology Association, Malta Employers’ Association (MEA), Malta Federation of Professional Associations, Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM), Malta Health Network, Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA), Malta Institute of Management (MiM), Maltese Islands Agri Federation, Malta Midwives Association, Malta Tourism Society, Malta Union of Bank Employees (MUBE), Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN), Malta Union of Teachers (MUT), Mental Health Association Malta, National Council of Women, Solidarjetà u Koperazzjoni, Studenti Demokristjani Maltin (SDM), The Scout Association of Malta, and Union Ħaddiema Magħqudin (UĦM).

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