EU programs – approaching EU funding in theory and in practice

3 Feb 2014

Last week (31 January) CESI hosted representatives from the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD) Brussels office who spoke to our members about major developments in current EU programmes related to employment, social affairs and inclusion. With extensive experience in how EU programs and funding function on a day-to-day basis, the EKD were able to pass on this experience for CESI’s member organisations to be able to put into practice.

EU programs – approaching EU funding in theory and in practice

The discussions, led by Gisela de Vries and Martin Kasperek from the EKD, focused primarily on two programmes: the New programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) which supports Member States in defining and implementing employment and social reforms at all levels from the European to the local level, and the Erasmus+ program which brings together and implements all the current European programmes related to education, training, lifelong learning, youth and sport.

Ms. de Vries explained that funding for EU programs is primarily aimed at national, regional and local level, which is why information sessions of this sort are of such importance to CESI’s member organisations directly. The session then followed a practical approach with Ms. de Vries leading the groups in simulations of how EU funded projects are conceived, step-by-step.

Gisela de Vries and Martin Kasperek, Policy Advisors from the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD)

From the practical sessions it became clear that while EU funding is available within certain programs, there is a strong result-based focus to being successful. Ms. de Vries commented that, “There is funding, but the EU wants proof that money has been spent in a worthwhile way. Brussels wants to be able to spread the good news – for this to happen, the results from projects under funding need to be widely disseminated”.

CESI would like to thank Gisela de Vries and Martin Kasperek, Policy Advisors from the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD) Brussels office for sharing their insight and experience in EU funding and programs.