Since 2005 the European Union has assisted the Ministry for Territorial Administration and Development (MTAD) in stimulating thinking on regional development policy by providing Technical Assistance, including review of concepts, mechanisms and best practices necessary to promote, implement and sustain regional development. The European Commission in its Country Strategy Paper (2011) reaffirms that regional development, together with the related reform of the public administration, remains a main priority area for cooperation with Armenia.
For that purpose the EU currently implements the Project “Support to the Ministry of Territorial Administration for Preparation of Actions in Regional Development” with an overall objective to contribute to reducing the economic and social disparities amongst the regions of Armenia in relation to the capital city of Yerevan. The project has 3 components, from which Component 2 is dedicated to the implementation of a pilot Grant Scheme for Regional Development. The Grant Scheme has two purposes:
- It will help building capacity in project management and funds management in the regions.
- It will directly support the development of regions, raise the economic competitiveness, reducing tendencies of outward migration.
As it is established in numerous strategic documents of Armenia, the key priority of regional development in Armenia for the coming years is the increase of employment through creation of quality and high productivity jobs. The importance of development of human capital is also highlighted in the Armenian Development Strategy until 2025. These objectives are fully justified by the current socio-economic trends in the regions, and are in the focus of the Pilot Regional Development Programme (PRDP). With the implementation of the Grant Scheme it is expected to achieve measurable increase of employment, and improvement in competitiveness of firms and other employers within regional growth sectors.
The 1st call under the PRDP GS was published on the 14th of September 2015, and 7 projects were selected to be granted, however not all the available funds were committed. This additional call aims to select 1 or 2 additional projects to be financed from the remaining funds, according to the terms and conditions described below.