BEIRUT: Nine municipality and unions of municipality representatives met Tuesday to formally initiate EU-funded projects, according to a statement released by the EU delegation office.
The municipalities and unions were granted a total of 620,000 euros ($836,444) in financial support following a call for proposals in 2012, with priority given to those that focused on capacity building.
Planning, financial management, project design and supervision were also taken into consideration, with the aim of supporting the municipalities to “play a more active role in the context of a decentralization agenda,” the statement said.
The projects are to be carried out in collaboration with the Association for the Development of Rural Capacities. Addressing the representatives, EU Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst said: “The European Union is convinced that the support provided to local authorities will ultimately contribute toward the decentralization reform that seeks to place Lebanon on the path to balanced and sustainable growth and development.”
She added “the [EU] recognizes the increasingly important role that municipalities and local authorities play in regional development, in the public investment program, in policymaking and in the implementation of policies.”