Easier, faster routes to EU grant funding could soon be a reality
26 October 2012
The European Parliament has approved the European Financial Regulation, after a campaign initiated by Euclid Network in 2008. The Financial Regulation covers all EUi funding. It will have a huge impact on civil society organisations and social enterprises as it increases European Institutions effectiveness, improves transparency, cuts red tape and introduces innovative financial mechanisms.
After more than 10 months of discussion between the European Institutions, involving six parliamentary committees and more than 500 amendments, the Parliament has given the green light to the following changes which are the main achievements of our campaign:
• Recognition of VAT as an eligible cost
• Simplification of administrative procedures for low value grants (the threshold has increased from 10000€ to 60000€)
• Allowing contribution in kind and volunteering as co-financing for low value grants
• Allowing surplus as reserves for certain grants
• Setting time limits for the funding process
• Facilitating the pooling of EU resources with private funds via the creation of “public-private partnerships”, notably in the research field
• Using incentive prizes, which are intended to provide a potentially high leverageeffect with light administrative procedures (especially in the research area)
Euclid Network, together with the Civil Society Working Group on EU financial support within the Structured Dialogue Group (hosted by DG Communication), worked with more than 70 umbrella groups from across Europe in order to achieve these changes and others, which are in the new Financial Regulation. The European Parliament and the European Commission have been in the discussion since the beginning, enabling an effective dialogue among the various parties in order to find joint solutions.
Several improvements have already been piloted by the most innovative founding programmes such as Europe for Citizens (DG Communication) and now are becoming mainstream thanks to the new Financial Regulation.The new text of the regulation will comes into force in January 2013.
Dr. Graessle MEPi, Rapporteur on the Financial Regulation, said: “Simpler, safer, better: the new EU financial rules form the cornerstone for the responsible use of EU money”.
Thierry Weishaupt, Euclid Network President, said: “This is good news for Euclid Network members and for any civil society organisations in Europe, who want to try to access EU funding. I would like to thank Euclid members for supporting us with their expertise on the ground, and all the civil society organisations that have been involved in the advocacy process, especially in the Working Group hosted by DG Communication. This result was only possible thanks to them".
Sir Stephen Bubb, CEO of ACEVO said: “This is a huge sign for this country’s charities and for civil society across Europe. It was always stupid to stop organisations making surpluses and making up reserves. I’m delighted that this is happening because of Euclid Network’s determined campaign and we have managed to overturn this nonsense”.
Filippo Addarii, Euclid Network’s Executive Director, said: “This is the first time that civil society and European Officials worked together round the table to find joint solutions to cut red tape. Now this has to be scaled up. This is social innovation for the EU.”
Article published on the Network for Europe website (25 October 2012): Click Here