Supporting Local Initiatives for the Development of Świnoujście City
The Local Initiatives’ Support Fund was established by Polskie LNG S.A. All the funds raised under this initiative will be allocated for the development of Świnoujście. The first call for most interesting local projects’ proposals will be launched in July!
After a period of intense preparation, the Local Initiatives’ Support Fund – guaranteed by its founder – Polskie LNG in September 2013 during the Social Dialogue session, has just been launched. Its paramount objective is to involve social partners in the decision making process consisting in allocating the grants for local projects in Świnoujście.
‘The views of the local community on the directions for city development and the preferences of citizens are of particular importance to us. Therefore, the newly established Fund is designed to ensure transparent, objective and independent allocation of resources to support the most beneficial and prospective projects. We have committed ourselves to launching the Fund by the end of the first half of 2014 and this commitment was successfully fulfilled. Moreover, the Fund’s Council has already held the first meeting, concluding that the first call for proposals is to commence in the beginning of July’, says Maciej Mazur, Director of Corporate Communications in Polskie LNG SA.
The newly appointed Fund’s Council comprises: deputy Mayor Joanna Agatowska, as a representative of the Municipal Authorities; Walerian Zegzdryn, as a representative of District Authorities in Warszów – area in the immediate vicinity of the LNG terminal; Izabela Puławska, as a representative of Youth Employment Services – a local institution helping the needy; Piotr Piwowarczyk, a representative of the participants of the Social Dialogue project, elected from among the participants of the dialogue programme in a vote conducted in late April and May, and Maciej Mazur as a representative of Polskie LNG SA.
‘The purpose of appointing the Fund’s Council is to ensure that decisions regarding the support provided to specific initiatives are undertaken based on the knowledge and experience of persons well acquainted with the needs of the local community. The Council members represent all major parties involved in the dialogue programme implemented in connection with the LNG terminal. We are confident that the Fund will contribute to actual development of Warszów district in Świnoujście’, said Maciej Mazur. ‘The decisions of the Fund are intended to stimulate the local community. Our objective is to support ambitious projects of high significance and potential for the development of the region’, he added.
The newly appointed Council met for the first time on 25 June to establish the organizational structure of the Council and to appoint its Chairman and Secretary. The Council members unanimously appointed Joanna Agatowska, deputy Mayor of Świnoujście to the position of a Chairperson, whereas Maciej Mazur, a representative of Polskie LNG assumed the position of the Council’s Secretary.
‘I am genuinely impressed by the initiative of the social dialogue with citizens, undertaken by Polskie LNG. The newly appointed Council will allow us to meet the expectations of local government and implement many valuable and important social initiatives’, said Joanna Agatowska after the first session of the Fund’s Council.
Another important decision made during the session of the members of the Fund’s Council was determining the eligibility criteria for local projects and approving the schedule of the Fund’s proceedings for the coming months. It was decided that in the first stage of operations, the overall budget of the Fund shall allow us to grant subsidies in the value of maximum PLN 5000 for individual projects.
‘The analysis of the Company's present cooperation with stakeholders of the LNG terminal and the history of financial aid granted so far by the Company indicates that the above amount is optimal and allows supporting numerous projects. Call for proposals starts in the beginning of July and will last until the end of September. In early October, another meeting of the Council is planned, whereby first decisions on allocating funds for chosen projects will be made. Detailed requirements for applications will soon be announced on www.polskielng.pl’, adds Maciej Mazur.
Establishing the Local Initiatives’ Support Fund is the result of Polskie LNG’s long-term cooperation with residents, local government and all stakeholders concerned with the development of Warszów district in Świnoujście. Over a year ago, Polskie LNG SA decided to actively cooperate with stakeholders, and for this reason it launched the Social Dialogue project implemented in accordance with international AA1000 Standard called Accountability Stakeholder Engagement Standard providing guidelines for engaging key partners in project implementation. The most prominent stakeholders of the LNG terminal project actively participated in two dialogue sessions which took place on 13 March and 30 September 2013 in Warszów district of Świnoujście. Among the participants of social dialogue there were representatives of local communities, scientific and academic associations, NGOs and local authorities, as well as media and business partners of the project. As a result of those dialogue sessions, a list 56 petitions has been developed. It became the basis for assuming the obligations and launching the Świnoujście city development plan that has been implemented since November 2013. The main petition put forward during the discussion with stakeholders was the financial assistance provided by Polskie LNG SA for projects considered beneficial for the local community, such as grants for schools and educational institutions, hospital or supporting several NGOs’ initiatives. Establishing of the Polskie LNG’s Local Initiatives’ Support Fund by 30 June 2014, as promised during the dialogue session, constitutes the first step towards implementation of the above postulate.
More information on social engagement of Polskie LNG is available at the first education portal on liquefied natural gas in Poland: www.lng.edu.pl