Spotlight on European funding & policy issues for nonprofits

On Friday 9 December The Wheel, Ireland’s largest representative and support body for the community and voluntary sector, held an interactive discussion on European funding and policy Dublin with Dublin MEP, Nessa Childers as part of a new project funded by the European Parliament. \

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Taking place in the Carmelite Community Centre, Dublin 2, the event  informed voluntary and charitable organisations about European funding opportunities available but also gave them a chance to consider some crucial questions relating to Europe: What is the impact of Brexit on their programmes? What EU funding is available to civil society? And overall, in a rapidly changing context, what is the value of engaging in Europe?
 
 
This year The Wheel, in partnership with the Irish Environmental Network and the European Anti-Poverty Network, is embarking on a new project funded by the Communications Directorate of the European Parliament. Intending to provide opportunities for civil society organisations in Ireland to engage with MEPs and European issues, the Civil Society and the European Parliament: Shaping Europe’s Future project will comprise of a series of events running from December 2016 until May 2017.  Today's first event with Nessa Childers MEP provides a platform for organisations to learn about EU funding opportunities and consider key questions around the European context.
 
Speaking at the event, Nessa Childers MEP said: "I am always keen to meet with Irish civil society organisations. Engaging with European affairs and applying for funding from the European Commission can seem like a daunting topic, but I believe that there are great benefits to engaging in transnational projects and working at European level.  The Wheel is skilled at bringing people together to discuss key issues and I look forward to hearing their thoughts and providing them with a platform to discuss and interact.” 
 
Via a survey of its members in 2015, The Wheel revealed that only 19% of them had experience of EU funding. In response to this the organisation now has a growing programme of support around EU programming.  The Wheel is the National Contact Point for the Europe for Citizens Programme which encourages citizens to find a common European identity and history.
 
For more information on Europe Citizens Programme,  visit: www.europeforcitizens.ie