The Montenegrin government and the EU plan to spend three million euro in order to find a long-term solution for refugees from Podgorica’s Konik camp.
Aleksandar Pejovic, Montenegro's head negotiator in the accession talks with the European Union, signed on Monday an agreement which will bring to realisation 16 projects co-financed by the EU.
The agreement allocates three million euro to the Ministry of Labour and Social Care for finding long-term solutions for the residents of Konik camp in Podgorica.
The construction of 90 apartments and a community centre for families living in the Balkans’ largest refugee camp is the most ambitious goal of this project.
Moreover, it aims to facilitate the regulation of legal status of the refugees willing to remain in Montenegro and help with the voluntary return of around 40 families wishing to go back to their country of origin.
The agreement is expected to improve access to education, provide employment opportunities and social integration of the camp’s residents.
Konik camp is located at the outskirts of Podgorica. It is inhabited by 1,500 Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians, most of whom fled Kosovo during 1999.
Council of Europe’s recent report states that the camp constitutes de facto segregation and that the living conditions there are inhuman and hazardous.
Most of the money, 2,5 million euro, allocated for Konik camp, is provided by the EU while the remaining half a million will be provided by the Montenegrin government.
The EU’s Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, IPA, offers funds to the countries engaged in the accession process for the period 2007-2013.
The total amount of the agreement on financing IPA for 2011 between Montenegro and the EU is 43 million euro.
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