Thursday, October 30, 2008

EC Annual Action Plan 2008: bi-annual calls for all NGOs and implications for the New Member States

Source: Concord Flash, nr. 58, 2008

The annual action programme 2008 was adopted on 12 August 2008. After the “Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development – NSA-LA Strategy Paper 2007 – 2010" it is the basic document in which the European Commission gives detailed conditions and guidelines for the different calls for proposals sent out under its financing instruments. CONCORD regrets that the budgets for 2008 and 2009 will be combined and that the calls for proposals will be published for a biannual period. The Working Group on Funding for Development and Relief (FDR) hopes that the EC will stick to its line that this is exceptional, and that as of 2010 the calls for proposals will again be launched on an annual basis. It seems, however, that the next Call for Proposals for Investing in People is to be launched for the years 2009-2010. In this way, it will alternate with the Call for Proposals for NSA-LA which would cover the 2008-2009 budgets.

After a lot of lobbying work done by CONCORD over the past year, and thanks to the input of different players, the EC has added 10 more countries to the list of those covered by the new programme (Cape Verde, Djibouti, Haiti, Liberia, Mauritania, Solomon Islands, Togo, Afghanistan, Morocco and Tunisia), while Malawi is no longer on the list.

The European Commission’s Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development thematic programme, which succeeded the former NGO Co-financing and Decentralised Co-operation budget lines, aims at supporting small-scale initiatives in the area of development proposed and/or carried out by civil society organisations and/or local authorities from the European Union and partner countries. The programme’s three main objectives are to support:

  1. Development actions to be implemented by non-state actors or local authorities in close cooperation with the local communities and most vulnerable population groups, aiming at promoting an inclusive and empowered society in partner countries
  2. Actions in the EU and acceding countries aiming at raising public awareness of development issues and promoting education for development (DE) to mobilise greater public support for poverty reduction
  3. Actions aiming at achieving more efficient cooperation, facilitating structured dialogue in the area of development.

What is the same as in the previous Annual Action Plan regarding New Member States? In the thematic programme on development education (see the second objective above), the actions proposed by organisations from the 12 New Member States are favoured: the rate of EC co-financing can be as high as 90% of an action's budget and the EC grant can be lower than for old member states, namely EUR 25,000. It also seems that some other eligibility criteria will be kept as smooth as in the last Development Education Call in 2007.

Note that the Calls will be launched in November/December 2008! The EC is preparing the launch of five Calls for Proposals to be issued in November/December 2008 (In-country Actions, Multi-country actions NSA, Multi-country actions LA, Development Education and Networking), while at the same time 70 EC delegations are working to launch their local calls. An overview of all the centralised and local NSA and LA calls and their main objectives will be published on the EuropeAid website.

For more information contact Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG and An Van Goey, CONCORD

See the Euforic newsfeeds on Concord and on civil society and development education