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Minister for Romanians Abroad Natalia Intotero said on Friday, at the presentation of her ministry's activity report for the years 2017-2019, that the budget allocated to MRP for supporting the activity of Romanians everywhere was 33,539,000 lei, of which 7,029,000 lei for 2017, 11,785,000 lei for 2018 and 14,665,000 lei for 2019.

She mentioned that 466 projects were financed, of which 118 in 2017 (61 for the diaspora, 57 for the historical communities); 149 projects in 2018 (84 for the diaspora, 65 for the historical communities), and 199 in 2019 (108 for the diaspora, 81 for the historical communities).

Among the most important actions supported by the MRP were, according to the activity report, the "Scholarships for Romanian Ethnics of Ukraine" programme (2018-2019), under which 5,645 scholarships were awarded to Romanian ethnic students residing in Ukraine and going to schools with Romanian language tuition or studying subjects in Romanian as a mother tongue, from Ukraine's pre-university education system in Ukraine; the "ARC" (2017-2019) Camp programme, under which 7,526 children and young people from 20 countries covering the Romanian diaspora and historical communities participated in camps organised by MRP in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Intotero also mentioned a national campaign called "Information at Home! Safety abroad!", a project that encourages Romanians to get informed before making a decision to go abroad.

"As many as 40 percent of our fellow nationals who choose to travel, study or work abroad are informed before they leave. (...) I look forward to the news for 2019 and I hope the percentage has increased," the minister said.

Intotero added that, although her ministry has no powers in organising the elections, MRP got involved, along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Electoral Authority, in the efforts for a better information of Romanians abroad ways of voting in the November 2019 presidential election.

She also said that by amending legislation access was gained to European funds under Operational Programme Administrative Capacity.

"We are currently completing the process of accessing European funding worth 5,371,214.31 lei. The project is for the development of a new strategy for Romanians everywhere. There will be some studies that allow us to find out the actual needs of our fellow nationals in 20 countries," said Intotero.

She added that "openness to all Romanian nationals" must be shown, regardless of where they are.

She also thanked her government colleagues "who understood that this ministry needs more support," specifying that the most recent help was received about two months ago, when money was allocated from the reserve fund to cover expenses entailed by scholarships in Ukraine. AGERPRES (RO - author: Petronius Craiu, editor: Mihai Simionescu; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor; Adina Panaitescu)

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