Steering Committee Meeting – Sofia, April 2017

Sofia,  20th April 2017

Attendants:

  1. Delphine VERHEYDE – Researcher; Siracuse International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights
  2. Noémie DESTOC – FRENCH DAP – Psycholigist; Direction de l’Administration Pénitentiaire
  3. Adrian NEAGOE – ROMANIA – Project manager Cooperation and Programs Department National Administration of Penitentiaries
  4. Daniela MOZA – UVT – Universita de Vest Din Timisoara
  5. Cristina CAPARESI – EXIT ONLUS – Project Manager EXIT SCS ONLUS
  6. Svilen TSVETANOV – BULGARIA – General Director of General Directorate “Execution of Sentences”
  7. Nadya RADKOVSKA – BULGARIA – National Project Manager
  8. Ivailo JORDANOV – BULGARIA – National Project Coordinator
  9. Rumena BLIZNAKOVA – BULGARIA – National Project Coordinator
  10. Slavka GIUZELEVA – BULGARIA – Financial Manager
  11. Daniela JORDANOVA – BULGARIA – Head of sector “Probation”
  12. Marieta TSOLOVA – BULGARIA – Inspector in sector “Social activities”
  13. Ivelina GEORGIEVA – BULGARIA – Psychologist in Sofia Prison
  14. Angel TOPKAROV – BULGARIA – Inspector in International Department
  15. Rositsa DZHEKOVA – BULGARIA – Center for the Study of Democracy
  16. Pierdomenico PASTINA – ITALIAN DAP – Project Contact Coordinator
  17. Marco CAPITANI – ITALIAN DAP – Member of the Project Research Group
  18. Massimo GAROFALO – ITALIAN DAP – Accountant member of the Project management group
  19. Antonella DIONISI – ITALIAN DAP – Member of the Working Group

 

The meeting began with welcoming and introduction words by the Director General of General Directorate “Execution of Sentences”. He pointed out that radicalization is not a great problem in Bulgaria but the country should be prepared for the new tendencies in Europe and the new threats. The Director General finished his speech with the statement that the project is a good starting point for research of the processes and confirmed his assurance that it will be successful.

The project’s coordinator added that some of the project representatives are at an initial stage in countering radicalisation in prison and probation settings but will give an added value to the project because they can discuss of protecting factors and add value to the research outcomes.

Pierdomenico Pastina, head of the project’s coordinator’s delegation, continued with a speech presenting the overall aims of the project. He explained that the Steering Committee Members’ task is to monitor all project activities and discuss ways to implement them. He pointed out that in the last three months most important work was directed towards preparation of a questionnaire because research is a very important activity in the project. That’s why cooperation from partners is needed. Tools will be elaborated on the base of the answers of the questionnaire from each country. Then, Mr Pastina added that, following the beneficiaries’ suggestions and the European validation service replies to the coordinator’s questions, some changes have been made to bilateral agreements. Moreover, the project’s coordinator has received from the Commission some documents for the project financial management, which will be lately presented and analysed together. Finally, the coordinator introduced some words on the launching of the project website, which is under construction.

He then went on focusing on the importance of producing the project’s outputs and deliverables mentioned in the Grant Agreement.

Mr. Pastina finished his speech with the statement that radicalisation is not only a problem of the penitentiary system but of the whole community. That’s why we should work closely with other public bodies, with local administrations for example. We all shall have in mind that the phenomenon cannot be countered if we do not open to the community and to stakeholders.

Nadya Radkovska presented the Bulgarian group.

Rositsa Dzhekova, from the Center for the Study of Democracy, a Bulgarian NGO, announced that she may help with the implementation of activities as an expert. Their NGO started to research the phenomenon. They can provide research and practical tools how to recognize and counter radicalisation.

Cristina Caparesi underlined that the only way to tackle the problem is to collect information from different bodies and to share it with NGOs, teachers, health care staff, with the police officers, not only with frontliners.

The meeting, then, continued with the presentation of workpackage 2 – Knowledge collection and the questionnaire drafted by the Siracusa Institute to participants. The project’s coordinator introduces Ms Delphine VERHEYDE, as researcher at the Siracusa Institute, which has been indicated by the beneficiary as the project researcher. The leader of the work package 1 – Knowledge collection is the French DAP, while the project’s coordinator and the Siracusa Institute are responsible for two research outputs. Ms Verheyde is in charge of collecting and analyzing the information/data on prison and probation settings, that is an overall academic knowledge on the topic and on how P&P services and international/EU institutions/bodies have responded by implemented overarching actions. The Siracusa Institute will work in close cooperation with French DAP and the project’s coordinator.

In order to start the research activity, she has designed a questionnaire which has been decided to have 3 big topics. The questionnaire has been backed by a hard study on EU recommendations, PC-CP handbook, RAN collection of best practices and other publications.

The questionnaire is designed on ground of topics, subtopics and questions. As most question are connected with collection of good practices, there was a suggestion from ms Rositsa Dzhekova to be included the needs and the gaps of the countries because most of them don’t have good practices.

Ms Verheyde was appointed to work at the questionnaire since the beginning in Rome, when she was asked to draft a research plan and take coordination of the research group.

The project’s coordinator highlights on the necessity to work together and to involve the other research institutes in the project.

Daniela Moza  – West University of Timisoara – underlined that there is a need for a scientific methodology to be applied to the research plan, so to achieve results which are scientifically validated/licensed. Of the same advice was ms Cristina Caparesi from the Exit Onlus.

The project’s coordinator and the Siracusa Institute then agree in assigning part of the research plan to the West University so to analyse the questions drafted by the Siracusa Institute, evaluate them on the basis of a scientific method to be applied to this part of the research, cooperate in setting up a risk assessment common tool which might help in sharing a common methodology and tool so to enhance cooperation and information exchange on how to deal with the phenomenon in prison and in probation, help in establishing common criteria on how to detect radicalisation in P&P environments, and achieve a common pathway of intervention in detecting radicalisation in project beneficiaries P&P settings. It will then cooperate in scientifically validating methodology and tool.

After having discussed every single question of the research questionnaire, with great contributions coming from all partners and participants, the project’s coordinator went on presenting the project’s deadlines and future activities to be implemented.

First part of the questionnaire (Prison regime) – deadline for filling in 19 May 2017

Second part of the questionnaire (Risk assessment tool) – deadline for filling in 31 July 2017

Third part of the questionnaire (Exit strategies) – deadline for filling in 30 September 2017

The next Steering Committee meeting will be held in Italy end of June (from 26 to 30 June) beginning of July together with the first thematic workshop.

Long discussions have been held on the project’s deadlines and finally an agreed timetable was delivered (attached)

 The Siracusa Institute will review the questionnaire and send it to the project’s beneficiaries.

Participants were introduced to budget management and issues. The project’s coordinator presents the new budget templates provided by the European Commission after the meeting on 28 March 2017 held in Brussels. The new templates will be sent to the project’s beneficiaries, once back to Italy. Partners will transfer all budget categories and costs in the new templates and send them back to the project’s coordinator.

Some new subcategories have been added in the budget template: in category A – staff costs, in category B – subsistence costs, in category E – direct costs.

The budget consists of direct and indirect costs. Indirect costs are 7 % of the total eligible costs. No need for supporting documents for them. As for the direct cost, all of them should be granted with supporting documents. The project’s coordinator continued in explaining the budget implementation and management recommendations. It reiterated on the two different parts of budget costs, been divided into EU funding and the beneficiaries’ co-funding, where the 65% of the EU funding is given in pre-financing, the 35% will be given back to beneficiaries in the form of final payment. Suggestions from the coordinator on the budget management and implementation for a sound project financial management: a) start using as much as possible the national co-funding; b) keep in mind that EU funding is calculated on the estimated total of eligible costs given at time of application. Therefore, being an estimation, it might be subjected to variations. The more we are far from the initial estimated budget, the less we will receive as European granted funding. The goal to be achieved, therefore, will be to use all funds and incur in all costs as per the estimated budget. Some rules for managing the budget are explained (transfer of funds between items, changes in the form of costs, costs incurred in currencies other than Euro,,,)

Every three months partners are asked to make a financial report. If countries need more money for staff they should transfer only 20 % of other categories or use their national contribution. All external people working over the project should be assigned with a contract and considered as physical person. Supporting documentation to staff costs will be sent to the project’s beneficiaries (cost calculation sheet and timesheets).

Further commitments: Romania will discuss with the Director-General about the possibility of having the SC and workshop activities to be held in Romania in December 2017.

Minutes of the meeting and other documents will be sent to the project’s beneficiaries and associate partners.

The meeting ends at 16:30.

 

Sofia,  20th April 2017

 

Currently being updated

Staff translation: none

Automatic translation