On 31 January 2017 in the Charlemagne Building, the European Commission organised an “Infoday” on the Erasmus+ Programme in the field of Sport. The Infoday’s aim was to inform potential applicants about funding opportunities in 2017.
An introduction to the day was held in the De Gasperi Room, which saw a Welcome statement and presentation of networking tools during the event given by Brian Holmes, Director at the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency. His speech was shortly followed by Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, who emphasized the positive role sport can have.
The first Plenary Session’s topic was entitled Erasmus +: Sport, The Policy Context. A round table covering lessons learnt and policy priorities was the chosen format. Yves Le Lostècque, Head of Sport Unit – Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, European Commission spoke of how Erasmus + was the basic tool of the call for proposals. In 2017, 31 million Euros are to be allocated to the programme. The programme supports collaborative partnerships, small partnerships and non-profit events. Michal Rynkowski, Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, European Commission, gave more detail concerning small partnerships, as he spoke of how 60 partnerships had been born last year through Erasmus +. He also rejoiced at the fact that the Erasmus + programme had brought organisations together, who had never participated in such an effort before. Kurt Wachter, VIDC Wien, gave his experience of being an organisation part of the programme. He explained that the selection round was a challenging process and that having a specific goal for the project was very important. The more input from partners, the better the project is. His advice is to present a good story which can inspire. Romuald Schmidt, START, Poznan, a partner of many Erasmus + projects, spoke of his project’s goal to extend proven experiences via workshops to countries where standards of living for people with disabilities is not of European standard. Margus Klaan, Estonian Ministry of Culture, declared that Erasmus + has had a great impact on sport policy. Many countries aim to increase physical activity and the EWOS’s success has also had an impact.
The second Plenary Session focused on Erasmus +: Sport, Submission and Selection Procedures. Chair of this session Georges Bingen, Head of Youth and Sport Unit, Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, underlined that the collaborative partnership’s eligibility criteria is that a project regroup a minimum 5 organisations from 5 different countries. Small collaboration partnerships are defined by encompassing 3 organisations from 3 different countries. The maximum duration of collaboration partnership is 3 years. A small collaboration’s is 2 years. Only non-profit organisations can take part. Concerning non-profit events, their maximum duration is 12 months. The maximum amount of funds allocated by Erasmus+ is 400,000 Euros for collaboration projects, 60,000 Euros for small collaboration projects and 500,000 Euros for not-for-profit sport events. The novelty in the selection process this year is that there is only one selection round, for which the deadline is 6 April 2017 12PM (midday) CET (Brussels time). Viera Kerpanova, Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency spoke of small collaborative partnerships, whose aims are to develop and reinforce networks. With regards to Collaborative partnerships, their aim is to develop, transfer and implement innovative outputs. Luciano di Fonzo, Head of Sport Sector, Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, underlined that intellectual output is needed to organise an event and that co-financing is calculated in advance by the European Commission. This strategy caters to the hope of having more grass roots organisations.
Mike Coyne: ‘Sport is a powerful vehicle for achieving a range of economic and social objectives’
The final session focused on other EU funding opportunities and was chaired by Susanne Hollmann, Deputy Head of the Sport Unit, Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, European Commission. Arthur Payer, European Commission (DG EAC), explained that the focus was on out-of-school curricula, which involves young people with few opportunities. The EU Youth Strategy 2010-2018 brings together 10,000 volunteers per year. Daniel Albuquerque, European Commission (DG JUST), spoke of the Rights equality & Citizenship programme (REC) – which strives for anti-racism, anti-discrimination – is in the funding cycle is 2014-20. The funds are 439,5 million Euros. Mike Coyne, CSES – Centre for Strategy & Evaluation Services referred to the Study on the contribution of sport to regional development through the Structural Funds. He spoke of ESIF’s support and how funds are delivered at national and local level. Sport is a powerful vehicle to reach objectives. The study’s findings are that there are a broad and varied range of activities, in order to reach economic and societal objectives such as urban and rural development, culture and tourism interactions. Referring to the examples of Ostersund, Winter Sport Centre, Sweden; Sportcity, Manchester and Fit for Business in the Netherlands and Germany. Rachida Ghalouci, European Commission (DG RTD) gave her veiw on using knowledge through digital technology for the challenges of healthy ageing.
To finish the day, Jens Nymand Christensen, Deputy Director General, Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, European Commission, explained that projects are improving exponentially. He expressed his hope that the Commission support more projects than last year.
Leader of the project PASS (Physical Activity Serving Society), funded by the EU, and partner of many European projects, the think tank Sport and Citizenship has strong experience of the funding process at European level. Sport and Citizenship was invited to the event to answer the myriad of questions prospective applicants had concerning funding.sportetcitoyennete