On 17-18 September 2019, the EOC EU Office organised a Funding Seminar, in its premises, in Brussels. The aim of this meeting was to inform all European NOCs and partners of the Office about EU Funding opportunities as well as to exchange experiences on current and past projects funded by the relevant programmes. Participants came from various sport organisations including NOCs of Turkey, Greece, Germany, Israel, Andorra, Ukraine, Kosovo, Azerbaijan, Slovenia, Czech Republic, France, Slovakia, Sweden, Cyprus, Austria, Slovenia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Belgium, Netherlands, Estonia, Poland, and other partners i.e. FIBA Europe, Rugby Europe, European Athletics, the Austrian Federal Sports Organization (BSO), and International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).
The first day was dedicated to NOCs from non-EU countries with the objective to give them an overview on the EU external policies and funding opportunities. In this regard, the participants were introduced to funding instruments, IPA II and ENI in particular, and other political cooperation activities. In addition, the participants received an introduction to the external dimension of internal EU funds. To conclude the first day, the group had a meeting with the colleagues from the European Commission’s DG Education and Culture who provided further information about the external dimension of EU sport policy and Erasmus+ before answering questions raised by the participants.
By way of introduction to the second day, Folker Hellmund, Director of the EOC EU Office presented the objectives of the day:
- providing information on the existing funding opportunities
- enlarging the network of the participants (e.g. non-EU NOCs or EFs)
- exchanging of good practices and discussing project ideas
- providing practical advices on project application and management
- becoming aware of current obstacles and identifying opportunities in future funding programmes
He stressed the necessity to increase the number of applications from NOCs and encouraged Programme countries to support the other NOCs by involving them in their applications as partners.
Following the general introduction, current and future funding opportunities were emphasised starting with Erasmus+ Youth and the rather new programme, European Solidarity Corps. Thereafter a presentation on the Erasmus+ Sport and the European Week of Sport as well as an analysis of 2018 call results were given to the participants. As part of the programme of the second day, two sessions of practical workshops on Erasmus+ Sport projects were organised. The workshops focused on practical advices for project application and management as well as on the different topics covered by the programme. The aim was to increase the knowledge of the participants, to help with the application process, share experiences and discuss potential project ideas.
In the afternoon, the use of EU Structural Funds by sport organisations was on the agenda notably with a concrete example provided by Ales Solar (NOC Slovenia) who shared his experiences on the European Social Fund projects. The seminar concluded with a review of the Future Funding programmes 2021-2027.
The EOC EU Office would like to thank all partners and participants for their active participation in the discussions and encourages them to apply for EU funded projects.