Every first comer to EU projects asks the same question: how can I get some funds?
At first, we should make the difference, in a broad picture, between funds directly managed by the European Commission and those in charge of national /regional managing authorities. And then try to find synergies between the initiativewe want to upgrade to an EU level and EU policies in the ground.
Once a concrete EU policy is on focus, we can start watching for a suitable EU call for projects. When do they come? They may seem random, especially in this 2014 where everything seems to be put again into place, but they respond to the working plans of every Directorate-General of the European Commission.
Thus, these working plans may give us the first hint of the approach and the topics where funding would be assigned. When the call is finally issued, these anticipations must be checked. Secondly, we’d have to verify that our initiative still fits with the stated aims.
Some calls have a checklist so as to orientate the possible bidders, but I may propose a quick grid to be considered ex-ante:
– Read the call at least five times at different moments. Make an outline of what you have anticipated and what is new. Check where you need some help and take into account the time you’ll need to fulfill some requirements.
– Number of countries /partners. Please note that it is always a minimum. So don’t play by the minimum and try to extend it as far as possible.
– Budget. In the contrary, it is a maximum. So do not overpass it, neither the assigned percentage of co-funding. Same, for the concrete percentages for staff and operational costs.
– Actions. Try to define a logical framework before filling in the EU form. That will help you avoiding gaps and inconsistency.
– EU dimension. Do not forget that you are applying for EU funds. So put your project in line with EU policy and vision.
And do not forget to use EU vocabulary.