Red tape cut on European funding for charities

European funding streams should be easier to access by charities after a four-year campaign has resulted in the passing of amendments to the European Financial Regulation.

The Financial Regulation governs all European grants and contracts. Together with the Civil Society Working Group on EU financial support, Euclid Network campaigned with 70 umbrella bodies throughout Europe to reverse bureaucratic blocks to revenue streams contained within the existing regulations. It began working on the measures in 2008 as a response to the urgent need for funding in the sector as the effects of recession were beginning to be felt.

The now approved amendments include the recognition of in-kind contributions within co-financing for low-value grants, the ability to have a surplus without risking funding cuts, and the simplification of administrative procedures for low-level grants.

In total seven of Euclid's 23 recommendations have been approved and have been entered into the Financial Regulation's final text, which comes into force in January 2013. The successful amendments are:

  • Recognition of VAT as an eligible cost
  • Simplification of administrative procedures for low value grants, with the threshold increasing from 10000€ to 60000€
  • Allowing contribution in kind and volunteering as co-financing for low value grants
  • Allowing surplus as reserves for certain grants 
  • Setting time limits for the funding process 
  • Facilitating the pooling of EU resources with private funds via the creation of public-private partnerships
  • Using incentive prizes, which are intended to provide a potentially high leverage effect with light administrative procedures.