Published: Mon, 14 October 2019
MEP for Ireland South and leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament, Sean Kelly, has urged Irish would-be applicants for EU funds under the new Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 to begin preparations now to have the best chance of being successful when the call for applications opens.
Speaking from Kerry today (Monday), Mr. Kelly, who led Parliamentary discussions on the EU’s new flagship InvestEU Programme earlier this year, made the following comments.
“EU funding for projects is a complex process and every day I encounter citizens around the constituency with excellent proposals that are more than worthy of EU support, but find it difficult to navigate the bureaucracy involved and to tick all the boxes.
“The time for preparation is now. It is vital that potential applicants familiarise themselves with the processes, the different funds, the EU project portals and the list of eligibility criteria. Applicants need to remember that they are competing with peers from each Member State, along with those in participating third countries – they must ensure they are not eliminated early due to avoidable administrative reasons.
“Another aspect that applicants, particularly those in the research and innovation sectors, should keep in mind is there is often a need to form consortia. EU funds are cross-border by nature, and often there will be a requirement for projects to have multi-member state consortia. Potential applicants need to ensure they attend all relevant networking and brokering events where possible to make contact with potential project partners.
“I can guarantee that institutions and companies in Germany, France, Austria, etc. are already doing this, and as a result are putting themselves in the driver’s seat for 2021. We need to make sure we are there and ready to avail of the supports on offer.
“Of course my office and I are available as always to assist anyone that needs it and give advice on how to get themselves prepared”, he concluded.