The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Finance and the Sector for Finance and Contracting of the EU Assistance Funds (CFCU), with the support of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, have issued the Call for grants for creation of new jobs and increasing employment in less developed municipalities. The Call is worth 2.7 million euros, of which employers can individually receive from 180 thousand to 550 thousand euros for their projects, which they will never have to repay.

The Call is open to employers, small and medium enterprises from the private sector, in Danilovgrad, Niksic, Cetinje, Zabljak, Ulcinj, Pluzine, Pljevlja, Kolasin, Mojkovac, Savnik, Bijelo Polje, Berane, Rozaje, Plav, Gusinje, Andrijevica and Petnjica.

“The target group of this Call are the employers from the private sector, while the end users are unemployed people in the aforementioned areas. The key role in this Call will be played by the local governments, employers’ associations and other organizations that assist business development and that best know the needs of employers and unemployed people in local labour markets,” Ljiljana Simovic from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare explained at the press conference, which was organized on the occasion of launching the Call.

Interested employers can find out more about the Call during the Info Days, which will be organized in Zabljak on September 30, in Ulcinj on October 2, Andrijevica on October 5 and Mojkovac on October 7. Workshops will also be organized in the following period, where employers will receive support in preparing the concept and filling out applications.

The Call for Grants is part of the wider Joint EU-MNE Programme for Employment, Education and Social Protection. Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Mr Kemal Purisic reminded that most of the activities from this program have already been realized through earlier calls, with the support of the EU Delegation and the European Commission.

“8.7 million euros were allocated for various activities, in order to increase employability and create new jobs, of which 3.5 million euros for initiating calls for grants to unemployed persons to start their own business, which is implemented by the Employment Agency of Montenegro, 1.6 million euros were allocated to support the training and employment of unemployed persons in shortage occupations in Montenegro, as well as employment of the RE population, while 470 thousand euros were allocated for the establishment of local employment partnerships,” said Purisic.

The aforementioned activities in the field of employment, education and social protection will continue during the implementation of the new action document Support to Smart and Inclusive Growth – Education, Employment and Social Inclusion 2020, which refers to the long-term unemployed, with emphasis on social assistance beneficiaries, women, young people and persons with disabilities.

Representative of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro, Mr Miguel Magro Gomez, said the launch of the Call comes at the right time.

“The corona virus crisis has brought additional difficulties to the already vulnerable North and other less developed parts of the country. I am glad that we managed to allocate such a significant amount for this Call and I am sure that it will bring good results. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, the European Union has clearly shown that Montenegro is not alone in this fight. We have shown solidarity and allocated 53 million euros of direct and long-term assistance to mitigate the health, economic and social consequences of the crisis,” said Magro Gomez.

The Call for Grants for Supporting Employment in Less Developed Municipalities in Montenegro is part of the 18 million euros Joint EU-MNE Programme for Employment, Education and Social Inclusion.  The European Union participates in this Programme with 15.3 million euros and the Government with 2.7 million euros.