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Red tape cut on European charity funding

European funding streams should be easier to tap into for charities after a four-year campaign came to fruition in the passing of amendments to the European Financial Regulation today.

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 proceedures for low-level grants.

Filippo Addarii, Euclid Network's executive director said: "This is the first time that civil society and European Officials worked together round the table to find joint solutions to cut red tape. Now this has to be scaled up. This is social innovation for the EU."

In total seven of Euclid's 23 recommendations were approved today and have been entered into the Financial Regulation's final text to come into force in January 2013.

The successful amendments are:

  • Recognition of VAT as an eligible cost
  • Simplification of administrative procedures for low value grants (the threshold has increased 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”, notably in the research field
  • Using incentive prizes, which are intended to provide a potentially high leverage effect with light administrative procedures (especially in the research area)

This article was taken from www.civilsociety.co.uk – http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/finance/news/content/13635/