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Opinions & Interviews

22 Jun 2016

MOST program believed to reflect Belarus-EU cooperation dynamics

MINSK, 22 June (BelTA) – The Mobility Scheme for Targeted People-to-People-Contacts (MOST) reflects the dynamics of Belarus’ cooperation with the European Union, BelTA learned from Philippe Bernhard, counsellor of the European Union Delegation to Belarus, during the program’s presentation in Minsk on 22 June.

“The European Union is proud of getting the project implemented now. MOST is an opportunity for interpersonal contacts between member states of the Eastern Partnership Initiative and the European Union. Belarus is the only Eastern Partnership Initiative country that takes part in the project,” said Philippe Bernhard.

International courses in the area of state administration are organized for top-ranking civil servants. Participants of the program go for internship once their applications are approved by the Embassy of France and the National School of Administration. The MOST program is all about expanding professional contacts between citizens of Belarus and the European Union for the sake of sharing cutting-edge practices and improving mutual understanding. The European Union representative stressed that all the exchanges for professionals in the past indicated tight cooperation between three sides — the European Union, the Embassy of France, and Belarus.

Philippe Bernhard said he would like more professionals from the regions and oblast capitals of Belarus to take part in the project in addition to Minsk residents, who now dominate in the number of the MOST program participants. “We also strive to keep the number of men and women balanced as well as the number of participants from government agencies and private structures,” he added.

As many as 300 people have already participated in the program. Another 1,200 professionals may attend courses in the National School of Administration in France. The key requirements are professionalism and connection between the participant’s profession and the purpose of internship. Applicants are also supposed to speak French or English.

“It is important for project participants to get something for their self-realization from the program. They should also develop the potential of future cooperation between Belarus and the European Union,” stressed Klaus Baier, leader of the MOST project management team. “The total funding stands at €5 million for three years of the project that will last till 2017. We have already received 4,000 resumes. Of them we have selected 300 participants, who have already gone through the course.”

Klaus Baier said that Belarus had been selected for the project because the Belarusian government had “made steps to meet us half-way and we saw interest in cooperation, without which the program would not exist”.

Participants of the program, who had recently finished their internship, were also present during the MOST program presentation. The number included Deputy Head of the Office for Cooperation with Foreign Countries of the Belarusian Agriculture and Food Ministry Ilya Konoplev, research officer of the Agribusiness Research Center of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus Victoria Levkina, and Head of the Legal Regulation of Budget and Finance Relations and Taxation of the Belarusian Justice Ministry Tamara Rogozhina. They spoke in glowing terms about the program and said their participation had resulted in self-development and new ideas for modernizing the management of government agencies.

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