Brussels, 27 March 2013
OPERATING GRANTS FOR EUROPEAN CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATION IN ERASMUS FOR ALL/YES EUROPE IN FIVE POINTS
What operating grants for civil society are
- A cost effective, sustainable administrative support given to European civil society organisations under the LLP – Jean Monnet Key activity 3, ensuring the quality of their work
- A type of funding that demands to fulfil policy objectives, requires systematic reporting to DG EAC Executive Agency and which implementation report is evaluated by external experts
What the European Parliament’s opinion is
- Amendments 134, 135 and 213 of the CULT Committee report mention operating grants. Operating grants must be in the legal basis, even if the text admittedly needs simplification.
What the Commission wants to set up instead and what consequences
- The Commission proposes to finance only civil society organisations’ projects, turning them intoservice providers: project running on very specific actions, cannot replace their policy monitoring and advocacy mission. This shift would seriously jeopardise EU civil dialogue.
- Platforms like EUCIS-LLL would simply disappear as its role is political and not project management.
- Project-based funding would have a very negative impact on their staff (precarious contracts) and on the quality and sustainability of outputs (no indirect costs financed i.e. premises).
Why operating grants have been kept in all other sectors
- All Directorates-General except DG EAC have estimated that those funding schemes are the most suitable for European organisations’ capacity-building and contributions to EU policies.
What the 2012 EU Financial Regulation says
- The 2012 EU Financial Regulation specifically mentions operating grants (article 121) to finance “the functioning of a body which pursues an aim of general Union interest or has an objective forming part of, and supporting a Union policy”.
- We call for a similar and equitable application of the EU Financial Regulation in all sectors.
For further information on EUCIS-LLL advocacy on the future Erasmus for all/YES Europe funding programme, see our website and different advocacy documents:
- EUCIS-LLL policy briefing note: “Preserve civil society participation in Erasmus for all/YES Europe” (December 2012)
- EUCIS-LLL letter: “European organisations are in danger in the new Erasmus for all EU programme” (January 2013)
- EUCIS-LLL and the European Youth Forum joint letter summarising our Coalition’s main advocacy points (February 2013)
- EUCIS-LLL press release: “Civil society: service providers for DG Education and Culture?” (March 2013)
Contact: Audrey Frith, Director, +32 2 738 07 68, email@example.com