Archives: December 2009

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17. 12.09:

Upcoming Calls: Freedom, Security & Justice programmes

The 2010 calls for proposals for transnational projects (grants to support one-off actions which are over and above an organisation’s normal activities) under the DAPHNE III, Drug Prevention & Information and Fundamental Rights & Citizenship programmes are all to be published in late January. Deadlines for submitting applications are likely to be set for April.

Upcoming call: ICT-PSP

The next call for proposal under the ICT Policy Support Programme is due to be launched at the beginning of January with a likely closure in June. Six themes will be covered with the emphasis being on the needs of public entities. An Information Day is scheduled for Brussels on 14 January.

Draft 2010 Work Programme

Micro-finance fund for the unemployed 'progresses'

A Commission plan to create a micro-finance facility to help people at risk of losing their jobs to start their own micro-enterprises has been backed in principle by the European Parliament although the funding arrangements remain undecided. Under this initiative, the Commission had proposed to make EUR100m in support available to provide eligible candidates with loans of up to EUR25,000. This budget was to be sourced from a reallocation from the Progress fund for employment, social affairs and equal opportunities.

The Parliament Employment and Social Affairs Committee's (who has wanted to grant an extra EUR50m increase to the venture) have given their agreement but are holding off on any definitive decision in regard to the use of the Progress fund, pending investigation of the possibility of establishing a separate budget line for these purposes. MEPs have also called for clarification that the future fund would not replicate existing SME liquidity initiatives such as Jeremie and Jasmine at EU-level, or indeed, national, regional and local level equivalents.

15. 12.09:

Call: Interreg IVC

Interreg IVC has opened a call restricted to Capitalisation Projects, including Fast Track Projects, only. This will require applications based on the transfer of recognised good practices into Structural Funds programmes - therefore requiring that they are put together in consultation with the relevant Managing Authority (BMW/S&E Regional Assembly or Dept. of Enterprise, Trade & Employment). A minimum of 6 partners from different countries is required. Project budgets should range from EUR1-2 million.

It is felt that applications dealing with natural & technological risks; climate change; water management; biodiversity & natural heritage; air quality; energy and sustainable transport; or cultural heritage & landscape may receive preference.

The IRO has received partner search requests relating to:
-Social Economy and micro-financial services to support the development of local/regional strategies for employment and enterprise development;
-Tackling young people’s welfare by looking for ways to enhance their inclusion into the labour market and wider social participation; and
-Beyond GDP: Measuring the sustainable development impact of Operational Programmes at local/regional level.
Please notify us of your interest in pursuing these requests by 20 January.

Further information
Deadline: 5 March 2010.

14. 12.09:

New Fund for Energy, Climate Change and Infrastructure

A ‘'post-crisis'' pan-European infrastructure fund backed by an alliance of some of Europe's leading public financial institutions was unveiled on 4 December. Marguerite aims to offer capital of EUR1.5 billion to act as a catalyst for infrastructure investments implementing key EU policies in the areas of climate change, energy security, and trans-European networks (TENs).

The new fund, which includes EUR80 million in European Commission support, was initiated last year as part of the European Economic Recovery Plan's drive to reinforce Europe's long term competitiveness by combining EU policies and funds to help Member States bring forward investments in energy and priority infrastructure. The approach should serve as a model for the establishment of other similar funds in the EU wishing to combine a market-based principle of return to investors with the pursuit of public policy objectives.

The Fund will focus on greenfield investments within its target sectors: TENs energy or transport infrastructure, sustainable energy production, clean transport infrastructure, energy distribution and systems for hybrid transport (e.g. wind, solar), geothermal, biomass, biogas, hydro, and waste-to-energy projects.

Further information

12. 12.09:

Youth in Action 2010 priorities

The 2010 annual priorities of the Youth in Action programme were published on 8 December. Next year, on top of the rolling priorities (European citizenship; participation; cultural diversity; and inclusion ), an emphasis will be placed on projects focusing on the following themes: i) 2010 the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion; ii) Youth unemployment and promotion of young unemployed people's active participation in society; and iii) Awareness-raising and mobilisation of young people around global challenges, such as sustainable development, climate change, migration, and the Millennium Development Goals.

Further information

Technical assistance for local energy investment

The shape of the ELENA (European Local ENergy Assistance) facility has been clarified. This joint European Commission and European Investment Bank (EIB) initiative is to provide EUR15 million in 2010 (through the Intelligent Energy-Europe programme) for technical assistance actions associated with local authority undertakings which lay the groundwork for and mobilise further investment in large-scale sustainable energy activities.

ELENA support is intended to partly cover the costs necessary in preparing for viable long-term investment projects and programmes relating to the upgrading of public and private buildings, district heating networks, and environmentally-friendly transport. The support is especially intended to help local authorities to realise the ambitions underpinning their own Sustainable Energy Action Plans - a prerequisite for membership of the Covenant of Mayors which recently welcomed its 1000th signatory.

Eligible actions which may be supported may include energy audits, investment identification (and bundling for reduced transaction costs), feasibility and market studies, business plans, programme/plan development, and assembling suitable external financing arrangements. The ultimate large-scale investments that emerge may possibly be financed by loans from the EIB or other sources.

Further information

04. 12.09:

Call: International Development issues for local authorities

A call for proposals was opened on 1 December for European local and regional authorities to involve themselves in international development issues. This may include actions taking place within the EU (public awareness initiatives on development issues and development education; or coordination and networking activities) as well as in the Developing World. Approximately EUR27.3 million in support is available. A two-stage selection process applies: firstly applicants will need to send a concept note by 25 February 2010, successful projects will then be requested to submit a full application package.

Further information

Future Sport Programme

The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty has given the EU a formal competence in sport. This allows for better promotion of the benefits of sport in other EU policy areas and programmes, including health and education. The Commission will launch a wide stakeholder consultation in the first half of 2010 to prepare for the first EU Sports Programme, which should be launched in 2012. The inaugural meeting of EU Sports Ministers in the Council is scheduled for May 2010.

The future programme is likely to be designed to encompass aspects including sport's cultural, social and educational function; its contribution to the promotion of a physically-active lifestyle; as well as promoting the transfer of knowledge, innovation, dialogue and good governance including wiith third countries.

Further information

02. 12.09:

New Public Administrations ICT programme

The new ISA (Interoperability solutions for European public administrations) programme came into force in November. This successor to the IDABC (Interoperable Delivery of European eGovernment services to public Administrations, Businesses and Citizens) programme is intended to facilitate practical electronic cross-border and cross-sector interaction between administrations - notably local and regional government - across Europe, enabling the delivery of common public services and solutions.

The programme priorities will relate to four areas of activity:
- Common frameworks (policies, strategies, specifications, methodologies, guidelines);
- Reusable generic tools (demonstrators, shared and collaborative platforms, common components to meet user needs across policy fields);
- Common services (generic operational applications and infrastructures); and
- Analysis of ICT implications in the implementation of new EU legislation.

ISA will run from 2010-2015 with a budget of EUR164 million.

Further information

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