Empowering Jiu Valley Functional Area

Empowering Jiu Valley Functional Area: Awards for Urban Renewal, Inclusivity, and Community Engagement Progress

As a participant in the “Functional Areas in the EU” project, the Jiu Valley Functional Area  received valuable technical support to advance its goals. One of the key challenges this area faces is improving the local economy and enhancing the quality of life while transitioning from coal to a green and sustainable economy. To address this challenge, among other activities, the project provided guidance in preparing award applications to gain recognition for their ongoing efforts and further their objectives.

The first application focused on the Transformative Action Award, an EU award that acknowledges outstanding applications and efforts made by cities, regions or civic organizations in building socio-cultural, socio-economic and technological transformations in their community, in addition to furthering the implementation of the European Green Deal at local level. The “Vibrant Jiu Valley” project, which showcases the community’s commitment to enhancing and beautifying public spaces through street art and a variety of activities, was submitted and nominated for this award. After careful evaluation among more than 30 applicants from across Europe, the project was ultimately declared the winner, recognizing its outstanding achievements and contributions.

In February 2023, representatives from the Jiu Valley Functional Area received assistance with their application for the Project Competition launched by AHK Romania (Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry) under the theme “Cities of Tomorrow #11 Quality of Life,” aimed at improving the quality of life in cities and communities. The application focused on the successful implementation of the “Vibrant Jiu Valley” event held in 2022. After being selected as a finalist, the project received further support during its presentation at the Cities of Tomorrow event and emerged as the competition winner. The Valea Jiului Society Association (VJS) was awarded this prize to encourage further project development and a one-year promotion through AHK Romania, including participation in a sustainability-focused business delegation in Germany.

The knowledge exchange in Germany took place between June 12th and 16th, 2023, and was  focused on monument conservation and restoration in the North Rhine-Westphalia region. The representatives of the VJS association met with local businesses and companies at the Chamber of Crafts in Dortmund, learned about funding opportunities and intercultural aspects, visited the transformed Zollverein coal mine, which now functions as a mixed-use center, and participated in training and development courses in the field of monument preservation, including updates on new technologies. For in-depth coverage and a thorough narrative of the trip’s experiences and activities, please access our Facebook page.

Another significant award application occurred in April 2023 when the “Functional Areas in the EU” project team provided support for the submission of an application to the #ÎnStareDeBine call for projects. This initiative, run by Kaufland Romania and the Foundation for the Development of Civil Society (FDSC), aims to support Romanian NGOs conducting community actions to enhance the quality of life for vulnerable individuals. The application, officially submitted on April 19, 2023, was among 120 projects evaluated during the technical-financial assessment stage. Out of those, the project was selected as one of the 23 finalists. Following a rigorous evaluation process, it was ultimately chosen as one of the 12 winners to receive a financial grant of 60,000 euros through this funding call.

These achievements highlight not only Jiu Valley’s capability to secure private financing, particularly through Kaufland’s corporate social responsibility initiatives or the AHK Romania’s Project Competition for improving the quality of life within cities, but also their continuous efforts to plan and execute projects funded through European Programs.