EU funding programmes can be challenging to understand due to the great volume of information available and its specific language. So, where to start?
Usually, information is presented in a general-to-particular way:
1. EU values , which are always present
2. EU funding programmes and their corresponding strategic plans (areas or priorities), based on EU priorities , which are set for a cycle – presently the programmes are under the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)
3. Annual Work Programmes
The project has to be in line with the EU values – this will be proven throughout the proposal in different ways. For example, the “equality” value is reflected in questions about gender equality, like the Gender Equality Plans (GEPs), which are now compulsory for Horizon Europe projects. The same is true for the EU priorities – for example, the “do no significant harm” is a principle that has to be respected and it is related to the “green deal” priority. Therefore, when thinking about a proposal, both EU values and EU priorities must be kept in mind at all times.
Each EU programme targets a specific dimension for action. Choosing the most suitable programme is related to the general purpose of the project. If you want to do research, then look into Horizon Europe. If your project is related to education, then read about the Erasmus+ calls. Creative Europe is the programme related to arts (cinema, theatre, dance, etc.). There are also programmes for rural development, policy making, citizenship, etc.
All these programmes are in line with the EU values and the EU priorities. In addition, each one has its own priorities, which are stated in their Strategic Plan and in their Work Programmes. If the project does not respond to at least one of those priorities, it will be refused. For example, Horizon Europe has 4 strategic areas. Can your project answer to any of these challenges? If not, can you change it in that direction? How? Look for partners that can help you with that and can complement your competences. Talking with partners will help brainstorming ideas and find innovative solutions.
When reaching #3, you should have a general idea about your project and how it will fit in EU goals. However, before you start writing your proposal, you need yet to read the Work Programme of the programme you chose. Work programmes are a list of specific calls, their priorities and expected impacts. Take time to read it and choose careful in which call you will submit your proposal. Also, it is advisable to read the information available about how to fill in the application form and to watch the webinars promoted by the European Commission (when available).
Once the call is finally open, you should be able to answer its specific requirements with confidence.
Where to find the Work Programmes and other official documents?
1. Go to the “Funding & tender opportunities” website.
2. At the main menu, click on the arrow next to “SUPPORT” and choose the option “Guidance & Manuals”.
3. Then choose the option “Reference Documents”.
4. Be sure the “Programming period” is set on 2021-2027 and then choose the programme you want at “Filter by programme”.
Open Access | 01.02.2022