European funds represented a very important source of financing in many areas for many decades
Being able to convert ideas into European projects means to transform them into billions of euros deriving from the European funds, used every year, and new opportunities for companies, territories, recovery and, more in general, for the development of the entire territory.
European funds and projects are not just a “resource” available to the institutions and companies of our territory. European projects, declined in different ways, represented above all a precious tool with which:
- achieve, at a strategic level, the goals and priorities of the European Union, in terms of well-being and equality, economic and social growth and territorial integration;
- provide, at an operational level, a concrete and achievable response for the real needs of European citizens, collectively understood.
A major and important distinction in the context of European projects concerns the methods of managing the funding and, consequently, the entire “life cycle” of the tender (conception, publication, award, execution, monitoring and evaluation). From this point of view it is appropriate to distinguish between:
- Directly managed loans, in which the entire process is managed by the European Commission, in particular, by the relevant General Directorate or by a specific Executive Agency. This type of tenders requires that the activity presents a European dimension (involving, for example, partners from several countries). The most famous community programs belong to this category, including for example Horizon, Creative Europe, LIFE;
- Indirectly managed loans, in which the entire process is managed by specific Management Authorities, which for Italy correspond to the regional authorities or some national ministries (depending on the national or regional nature of the program). The allocations derive from the so-called Structural Funds, made available to the individual Managing Authorities following a long negotiation process involving the European Commission, Member States and Regions. They are aimed at reducing the economic and structural gap among the European Regions and their economic and social development;
- Territorial cooperation programs, which allow the implementation of shared projects between territories belonging to different Member States, united by geographical proximity, belonging to the same macro-area or similar problems. They are financed through the ERDF (one of the Structural Funds) and are managed by specific Managing Authorities.
Main European tenders
The main European tenders, which fall under the directly managed funding, make reference to the following programs:
- Horizon Europe
- Creative Europe
- Single Market Program (which replaced the Cosme program)
LIFE is one of the “historic” programs of the European Commission, having been operational since 1992. It is the main financial instrument of the European Union dedicated to the environment and climate action. This program has co-financed more than 5,500 projects across the EU, mobilizing over 12 billion of euros in investments and contributing for over 5 billion euros allocated by the European Commission as co-financing. In Italy, the Program had a considerable success which resulted in 979 funded projects, resulting in a total investment of 1.7 billion of euros, of which 871.5 million of euros allocated as co-financing by the European Commission.
LIFE program plays an essential role in supporting the development, implementation and updating of the Union policies and legislation on the environment, including those concerning nature, biodiversity and climate action, through the financing of projects of various sizes, aiming to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of effective solutions (techniques, methods and approaches) to different and complex environmental and climate change problems, as well as aimed at guaranteeing conservation and protection of nature and biodiversity. LIFE program fully contributes to the objectives and goals of the European Green Deal.
The goal of the new LIFE for the period 2021 – 2027 is to contribute to the transition to a clean, circular, energy-efficient, climate-neutral and climate-resilient economy.
The total financial envelope for the program is of € 5.43 billion. The share is divided into two main sectors, environment and climate actions, which in turn are divided into sub-programs. In particular, the financing scheme is divided as follows:
- “Environment” sector: € 3.49 billion divided as follows:
- “Nature and biodiversity”, with a budget of 2.14 billion of euros;
- “Circular economy and quality of life”, with a budget of 1.34 billion of euros, which is a novelty of the last seven-year Life Program.
- “Climate actions” sector: € 1.94 billion divided as follows:
- “Climate mitigation and adaptation” with a budget of 947 million of euros;
- “transition to clean energy” with a budget of 997 million of euros, which represents a novelty of the Life Program introduced in the last seven years.
Participation in LIFE takes place through a “call for proposal”, which takes place annually and which usually opens in May and ends between October / November.
During this time frame, it is possible to present projects through a specific European platform.
The calls currently open have the following deadlines:
- Standard Action Projects (SAP) for the sub-programs “Circular economy and quality of life”, “Nature and biodiversity”, “Climate action” (Climate Change Mitigation and Climate Change Adaptation): 4th October 2022;
- LIFE Action Grants for the sub-program “Transition to clean energy”: 16th November, 2022;
- Integrated Strategic Projects (SIP) and Strategic Nature Conservation Projects (SNAP):
- Concept notes: 8th September 2022;
- Full proposals: 7th march 2023.
- Technical Assistance Projects for SIP and SNAP: 8th September 2022;
- Specific Operating Grant Agreements (SGA OG) for non-profit organizations: 21st September 2022.
In order to submit your application, you must access to the European Union funding and calls portal
If you want to download the detailed monograph on the Life call, click here
HORIZON EUROPE PROGRAM
Horizon Europe is the framework program for research and innovation of the European Union which, following on from the previous European program Horizon 2020, will be valid for the period 2021-2027, with a total budget of 95.5 billion of euros, inclusive of the € 5.4 billion allocated to the Next Generation EU plan.
The main purpose of the program is to finance research and innovation activities, through calls managed directly by the European Commission, of various types but with the purposes exclusively aimed at applications in the industrial and civil fields. In particular, the program aims to develop research and innovation initiatives that individual Member States could not carry out as effectively, seeking to add value to national activities in this field.
The strategic goals of the program include strengthening the EU’s scientific and technological bases and promoting competitive systems, as well as increasing the EU’s capacity to address global challenges, starting with climate change and the provisions of the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. Environmental issues, the ecological and energy transition are at the heart of the Global Challenges, one of the main pillars of the program, but they also cross all the other pillars and other components of Horizon Europe, such as the Mission and European Partnerships.
Any legal entity in Europe, third countries or international organizations can participate in the Horizon Europe calls, with specific exceptions for specific calls. Generally, the consortium of partners applying for a program call must be composed of at least three legal entities, belonging to three different countries, of which at least one belonging to a Member State.
THE CREATIVE EUROPE PROGRAM
Creative Europe is the European program to support the cultural and creative sectors for the period 2021-2027.
The Program has a total financial endowment of 2.4 billion of euros for the seven-year period and includes three strands:
- the MEDIA section in support of the audiovisual industry;
- the CULTURE section in support of the other creative and cultural sectors;
- the TRANS-SECTORAL section that addresses the common challenges and opportunities of the cultural and creative sectors, including the audiovisual
The goals of Creative Europe are:
- supporting the creation of European works and help the cultural and creative sectors to seize the opportunities of the digital age and globalization, in order to reach their economic potential, contributing to sustainable growth, employment and social cohesion;
- promoting the competitiveness and innovation of the European audiovisual industry and helping the European culture and media sectors to access new international opportunities, markets and audiences;
- promoting innovative inter-sectoral and diversified, independent and pluralistic media actions.
For this purpose, the Creative Europe program financially supports creative organizations, cinemas and movies.
In addition, this program encourages audiovisual professionals, cultural and creative operators to operate across Europe, to reach new audiences and to develop the skills necessary in the digital age.
In particular, the CULTURE strand of Creative Europe helps cultural and creative organizations to operate transnationally and promotes the cross-border circulation of cultural works and the mobility of cultural operators. It provides financial support for activities with a European dimension aimed at: strengthening the transnational creation and circulation of European works, developing transnational mobility, disseminating innovation and capacity building (in particular digitization, new business models, education and training ). Supported activities aim to encourage cultural and creative operators to work internationally.
THE SINGLE MARKET PROGRAM
The single market program is the EU funding program 2021-27 on the competitiveness of enterprises, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and on European statistics.
It aims to:
- improve the functioning of the internal market and in particular protect and strengthen the role of citizens, consumers and businesses, especially micro and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), through the application of Union law, the facilitation of access to markets, standardization and the promotion of human, animal and plant health and animal welfare, as well as promoting cooperation between the competent authorities of the Member States, between those authorities and the Commission and decentralized agencies of the Union;
- provide high-quality, comparable and reliable statistics on Europe to support the design, monitoring and evaluation of all Union policies and to help policy-makers, business, academia, citizens and the media to take informed decisions and to actively participate in the democratic process.
One of the specific goals of the new 2021-27 program is dedicated to improve the competitiveness of businesses, with particular attention to SMEs, through various support measures, with the aim of:
- provide financial support in the form, for example, of grants and loan guarantees under the InvestEU Fund;
- facilitate the access to markets and reduce administrative burdens;
- supporting the spread of innovation and addressing global and social challenges;
- promote a business-friendly environment and an entrepreneurial culture.