rt_why_europe_matters_2010We know that there are still many people out there who don’t believe in “Europe” or in the European Union as a viable functional organ. Through this website we hope to provide you with clear and objective facts and information about some of the wonderful things that Europe has brought our continent.

On this part of the website we will give a short introduction to what the European Funding Project is all about and what it means for many countries all around Europe.

The EU provides is known for providing grants and funding to a long list of programmes and projects. The area’s that are covered within these programmes and projects are education, health, consumer protection, environmental protection and humanitarian aid.

In order to assure the funds are spend in a transparent and accountable manner, there are many strict rules and to ensure tight and constant control on the funding processes. Due to the fact that there are many different sorts of programmes and projects, it is extremely difficult and complex to organize all these flows of money in a correct way. Almost 75% of the EU budget is controlled and managed by the member countries.

Types of funding

The EU distinguishes two main types of funding, namely Grants and Public Contracts. The former revolves around specific projects and are partly financed by the EU and partly by other sources such as local governments. The latter one focuses on buying services, goods or works to ensure the operations of EU institutions or programmes. Public contacts can be awarded by calls for public tenders and they may span many areas like education, training and consultancy.

The group of 28 EU commissioners has the ultimate responsibility to ensure that the huge amounts money is spent in a proper and fair manner. Because of the fact that many are managed per country, the national governments must make regular checks and annual audits.

Beneficiaries

Small businesses have the opportunity to collect an array of EU funding, grants and loans. Grants can provide direct support with things like building projects while other forms of funding can be obtained through local and national governments.

One of the most successful funding programmes from the past 25 years must be the Erasmus student exchange programme. Each year, there are more than 230.000 students who study abroad thanks to the funding behind the ERASMUS project. The project also offers opportunities for students and staff for placement in enterprises, teaching and training programmes.

The Erasmus project became part of the 2007 Lifelong Learning Programme which is all about ensuring European students to become the best of the world when it comes to higher forms of education.