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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

”Great projects might get funded!”

Concord press release, 13 March 2009

CONCORD, the Confederation of more than 1600 European Development NGOs, welcomes the innovative initiative of the European Commission (EC) which organised today an “Auction floor” to help environmental projects for developing countries get financed by public or private donors.

This initiative is supporting new kinds of partnerships and leveraging additional funding which are urgently needed to address issues such as climate change, desertification, biodiversity, forests and sustainable energy. This Auction Floor demonstrates the positive recognition by the European Commission of the high quality of proposals submitted by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

This event also highlights the fundamental problem of insufficiency of funds from the EC thematic programmes in general. Only a small fraction of proposals can be funded by the EC, ranging from 5 to 15% of all proposals received. Elaborating a project proposal represents a significant investment on the side of CSOs and NGOs (both in terms of human and financial resources) and raises expectations with Southern partners and beneficiary groups. Therefore, there is an urgent need to increase funding available to civil society actors in thematic programmes and in the overall EU development cooperation instrument.

CONCORD members are keen to engage in working together with the EC to expand the innovative practices of mobilising alternative funding to rejected proposals in the context of the current financial framework. In addition to that, CONCORD will engage with the EU Institutions in the preparation of the next financial framework beyond 2013, to secure that adequate funding will match the needs.

The auction floor has launched a strong signal towards the recognition of the relevance and quality of the CSO development activities. “This is a positive evolution and shows the European Commission’s willingness to move from a ‘competitive lottery funding’ system towards a strategic partnership with CSOs,” says Olivier Consolo, Director of CONCORD.

The Confederation also calls for due attention to be paid to the equal access of Southern civil society to mechanisms such as the Auction Floor, as well as to EC funding in general.

Contact: An Van Goey, 02/743.87.93 or 0476/39.25.58 (an.vangoey@concordeurope.org)

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