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EU funding programmes explained

Introducing the ‘EU Funding Handbook’ published by Nessa Childers MEP – designed as a starting point to help people understand the range of European funding programmes available to organisations, local authorities and SMEs.

The policy framework for the 2014-2020 period is called the ‘Europe 2020 Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth’ – which is committed to the key challenge of stabilising the financial and economic system while taking measures to create economic opportunities.

The EU’s five year budget can be broadly categorised under the following headings

  • Smart & inclusive growth – which includes education, youth and sport; research & innovation; SMEs and connecting Europe
  • Sustainable growth, natural resources
  • Security and citizenship
  • Global Europe – including development aid
  • Administration

To qualify for EU funding, projects have to develop and further the aims of the 2020 Strategy

Most funding is distributed through National Governments – This is called Shared Management and includes well known funds such as CAP, social funds, regional and structural funds.

Direct funding from the European Commission – Nessa’s funding handbook focuses on the second type of EU funding, direct funding from European Commission – and included in this handbook are summaries of the programmes, contact points and website addresses for more information, and most importantly issues to consider before you go down the route of looking for EU funding.