Being able to unravel in the tangle of European funding possibilities may seem difficult and laborious, but knowing them helps every little organisation turn to the right direction when a possibility arises.
Nearly 80% out of the total of EU budget is managed through national or regional authorities, and these are the indirect funds.
Associations and organisations can apply for such funding through five different funds, all falling under the European Structural and Investment Fund. These are:
- European Regional Development Fund – regional and urban development;
- European Social Fund – social inclusion and good governance;
- Cohesion Fund – economic convergence by less-developed regions;
- European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development;
- European Maritime and Fisheries Fund;
The so called “managing authorities” must be addressed to in the member State where the organisation has its main headquarter.
The direct funding is the one managed by the European Commission, without any intermediary institution. There are two kinds of funds: the grants, that usually follow a call for proposals, refer to projects that relate to European policies. Any business or association working in the field can answer the call, as long as it runs projects fostering the interests of the EU or implement EU programmes or policies.
The contracts are slighlty different types of funding, issued by EU institutions to buy services, goods or works that they need for their operations – such as studies, training, conference organisation or IT equipment.
For these last kind of funding, associations can apply through the new Funding and Tenders portal.