"The call for projects starts on November 30, 2020, so the call for Polish diaspora proposals begins right now, with the doors to the Prime Minister's Office being opened to all Polish diaspora organisations that would like to become an intermediary in carrying out Poland's tasks abroad," Jan Dziedziczak told a press conference on Monday.
The call for projects will conclude on December 30, 2020, and the results of the competition will be announced on February 26, 2021, Dziedziczak also said.
The offers can be submitted through an application generator available at www.polonia.gov.pl.
An additional PLN 45 mln (EUR 10.1 mln) will also be offered for Polish diaspora needs by the foreign, education and culture ministries, Dziedziczak also said. "There are several important projects here, with the notable Polish Television project in Vilnius at the forefront, which will receive PLN 10 mln (EUR 2.2 mln)," he added.
Next spring, the PM's Office will announce yet another competition, this time worth PLN 5 mln (EUR 1.1 mln) and focusing on projects related to the organisation of summer holidays for children and youth from the Polish diaspora. The competition has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Dziedziczak said.
"A competition for Polish diaspora infrastructure, that is the construction and renovation of Polish Houses, and investing in Polish diaspora properties, is already on. The competition is being organised by the Foreign Ministry. The total amount available in the competition is PLN 13.3 mln (EUR 3.0 mln) and the deadline is December 18," Dziedziczak went on to say.
Monday's competition has been designed for foundations, associations and Church organisations registered in Poland. "If someone abroad would like to win funds for Polish diaspora activity in their country (...) then in accordance with Polish law an intermediary is required, i.e. a foundation, association or other entity listed in the law on public benefit activity and volunteerism," the government commissioner said.
The applications should focus on one of six areas: Polish diaspora education, PLN 17 mln (EUR 3.8 mln); building a positive image of Poland by Polish diaspora organisations, PLN 5 mln (EUR 1.1 mln); Polish diaspora's media, PLN 12 mln (EUR 2.7 mln); developing Polish diaspora's organisational structures around the world, PLN 8 mln (EUR 1.8 mln); as well as Polish diaspora events and charities addressed to Poles living to the east of the country's border and those living in South America.
Partnership, efficiency, fair competition and transparency are the basic principles of the programme, the commissioner said. "The principle of partnership consists in social consultation on the competition regulations which took place before the call for projects and which inspired us to make numerous changes in the regulations," Dziedziczak said.
The efficiency principle means that subsidies can be won by projects "offering tangible results" for the Polish community abroad, Dziedziczak explained. The projects will be assessed by the competition jury comprising representatives of the PM's Office and NGOs in accordance with the fair competition principle. "We want the assessment to be supported by opinions from independent experts and respective ministries and foreign posts. We have defined the rules of granting subsidies in the regulations, and in particular the criteria of selecting projects and the associated weights."
In accordance with the transparency principle, every submitted offer will have a score card that will show the number of points received by a given project in all the criteria.
Dziedziczak went on to say that the PM's Office will also foster cooperation within projects that have a two-year span. Additionally, a non-governmental operator will be selected that will commission the execution of small projects. In line with this, "no major competition will have to be organised" for small, local projects worth up to PLN 7,000 (EUR 1,560), Dziedziczak explained. (PAP)