Programme implementation

In Poland, the role of the Managing Authority for the EQUAL Community Initiative Programme is performed by the Ministry of Regional Development. The Managing Authority's main task is to prepare programme documents for the EQUAL Community Initiative (Community Initiative Programme and Programme Complement), as well as to supervise programme implementation. The Managing Authority makes the final decision to approve the selected Development Partnerships (PRR). It is also responsible for implementation of the management and control system, to ensure that financial operations are carried out properly, and for the coordination of integrating the EQUAL results into the national and European policy (mainstreaming).

The projects under the EQUAL Community Initiative Programme are carried out by Development Partnerships. Each Partnership consists of several institutions or organisations which decide to combine their effort and resources, in order to resolve a particular concern in the field of inequality or discrimination in the labour market.

Consultancy and support services for Development Partnerships implementing the programme, as well as for Partnership groups, the so-called "thematic networks", are provided by the National Support Framework (KSW). The role of KSW is, among others: to conduct promotional and informational activities and provide training for Development Partnerships; to organise a competition for projects and to receive corresponding applications; to sign financing agreements for Development Partnerships; to facilitate Partnerships or to control their undertakings. In Poland, the function of the National Support Framework is performed by the Cooperation Fund Foundation. The National Support Framework's tasks under the Fund are executed by the Task Force for Training and Human Resources (BKKK), an entity which belongs to the Fund's organisational structure.

Programme implementation is subject to the supervision of the Monitoring Committee, a collegiate body appointed by the Managing Authority. The tasks of the Committee include, among others: approval of the Programme Complement and possible amendments made to it, provision of comments on the choice of Development Partnerships, supervision of the progress towards the programme objectives, approval of annual reports on programme implementation developed by the Managing Authority prior to sending them to the European Commission. The members of the Monitoring Committee are also involved in mainstreaming of the results of the EQUAL Community Initiative.

The Committee is chaired by the Minister of Regional Development or a person designated by the Minister. In addition to the representatives of the Managing Authority and the Paying Authority, the Committee is composed of representatives of ministries, central offices and other institutions involved in the fight against discrimination and inequality on the labour market; representatives of local and regional authorities, social partners, experts, non governmental organisations. The Committee's meetings are also attended by representatives of the European Commission and the National Support Framework, as observers.

In Poland, implementation of the EQUAL Community Initiative Programme in 2004-2008 was financed by the European Social Fund (in the amount of EUR 133.99 M) and the national budget (in the amount of EUR 44.64 M). Both national and European institutions are authorised to control the resources that finance the projects carried out under the EQUAL Community Initiative Programme.