Umbrella bodies back changes to European Social Fund

By David Ainsworth, Third Sector Online, 7 February 2012

Charities will be able to access European money more easily

Charities will be able to access European money more easily

NCVO, SCVO, WCVA and Nicva say planned changes would make it easier for charities to access European money

Sector umbrella bodies for the four UK nations have said that the government and the sector should back European Commission proposals that will make it easier for charities to access billions of pounds of grants from Europe.

A report published today by the UK European Network, a joint venture of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and its Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish equivalents, the SCVO, the WCVA and Nicva, says the commission is planning changes to the administration of its structural funds, particularly the European Social Fund. The changes are expected to come into force during the next seven-year round of EU funding, which is scheduled to begin in 2014.

The commission proposals include ring-fencing 20 per cent of ESF funding for social inclusion and anti-poverty work, and introducing mechanisms to make it easier for third sector organisations to access funding. The report says that among these ESF mechanisms there should be a specific civil society funding pot.

It says that, in order to make it easier for third sector organisations to attract funding, it should be possible for organisations that provide technical assistance to those organisations to receive structural fund grants without having to attract match funding.

Another proposal supported by the UK European Network is the right of applicants to use volunteer time as an eligible source of match funding.

The current round of ESF already allows this, but rules in England prevent third sector organisations from submitting applications that include volunteer time.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will consult on the UK response to the proposals before the end of March. The current round of ESF funding for the UK is worth €9.4bn (£7.8bn), but the value of funding available under the next seven-year agreement is expected to be up to a third lower.

Related Articles

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Additional Information

Latest jobs Jobs web feed















90 per cent funded training for third sector: Collaborative Leadership Programme

  • Date: Thu 13 Mar 2014 - Fri 16 May 2014
  • Venue: Leeds

Lies, damned lies, and statistics: what should you really be measuring?

  • Date: Wed 23 Apr 2014 - Wed 23 Apr 2014
  • Venue: Westminster

People power

  • Date: Wed 30 Apr 2014 - Wed 30 Apr 2014
  • Venue: London

Third Sector Insight