Intermediate: EU Resources for Volunteering
Course Code: 0PMV2_EN
Intermediate: EU Resources for Volunteering
Author/Source: IDP - Lorenzo Costantino, Gulia Costantino
Tags: Proactive use of Information sources, Dynamic steps for networking: tools and techniques
Starting: 02/09/2015 Ending: 02/09/2017
Proactive use of Information sources
D.U. 1.1: Information Sources
Official Web portal of the European Union
EurLex, the Official Journal of the EU
www.europa.eu is the official web portal of the European Union giving basic information on how the EU works, the latest EU news and events. It also serves as the gateway to the official websites of EU institutions and agencies. The web portal is intended to improve the public’s interaction with EU institutions by quickly directing visitors to the services or information they are seeking.
The search of information can be conducted by using one of the main topics, e.g. How the EU works, Life and business in the EU, EU by topic, or by using the search engine.
The web portal is translated into all the languages of the Member States: all legislation and documents of political importance are published in all 24 official languages of the Union while documents which are not legally binding are usually published in English, French and German.
Official Web portal of the European Union: http://europa.eu/index_en.htm
EUR-Lex is the EU website that offers free access and online consultation to European Union law and legal documents. The system makes it possible to consult the Official Journal of the European Union and it includes inter alia the treaties, legislation, case-law and legislative proposals. It offers extensive search facilities.
EUR-Lex provides free access, in the 24 official EU languages, to:
• the Official Journal of the European Union
• EU law (EU treaties, directives, regulations, decisions, consolidated legislation, etc.)
• preparatory acts (legislative proposals, reports, green and white papers, etc.)
• EU case-law (judgements, orders, etc.)
• international agreements
• EFTA documents
• other public documents.
It also allows one to follow legislative procedures.
The Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) is the official compendium of the EU legislation and other official documents of the institutions, bodies and agencies. Published daily from Tuesday to Saturday it is available in several formats and in all the official languages of the Union.
The Journal comprises two series:
• The L series contains EU legislation: regulations, directives, decisions, recommendations and opinions.
• The C series contains all the communications, reports and announcements including the publication of the call for proposals.
Official Journal of the European Union Website: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/oj/direct-access.html
D.U. 1.2: Websites of EU funded programmes
EU Programmes Website
Dynamic steps for networking: tools and techniques
D.U. 2.1: Networking in Europe for volunteering organisations
The relevance of networking
How to carry out networking activities
Definition of Networking: creating a group of acquaintances and associates and keeping it active through regular communication for mutual benefit.
The core objective of networking is to establish a group of links, relations and connections useful to your activities providing the most productive, most proficient and most enduring tactic to build relationships.
Your net worth is only as good as your network!
Tools of networking
The secret of networking is to be proactive and have clear objectives: this attitude will allow to better plan your network activities.
Networking is free, most of the time. Attending the right events and using the right networking tools can lead you to future opportunities in terms of help, advice and business. Or it can motivate you go further, making you decide to start your own business or just expand your industry knowledge.
To succeed you must continually connect with new people and cultivate emerging relationships. Remember not to connect indiscriminately with anyone, but rather to select keeping in mind what your objectivesis.
After networking events, make sure to stay connected with those you meet. Take a look at the business cards you received and email those people about what you spoke about while it is still fresh in your mind.
Do not be shy, people who participate in a networking event all have the same goal: to meet new people!
When relating to EU resources, several useful tools of networking can be chosen and a proper use of all these means will allow the achievement of a good networking strategy.
Find below a list of the tools of networking:
• Participation at Info Days:Info Days are information events on precise topics organised in Brussels by the Directorates-General in charge of that specific programme. Information on the calendar and venues of Info Days is available on the EU programmes and Directorates-General website. Make a selection based on the topics of the Info Days in order to maximisethe efforts. The participation to Info Days is always free of charge and subject to registration. When attending Info Days, remember to procure the list of participants as it represents a precious networking document: it provides you a list of potential contacts already interested in that specific topic or area of action.
• Compiling a database/s: databases and lists of contacts (direct contacts or indirect ones) are a good way to organise all the information collected through networking tools, for example during an event or a conference. Different databases under different categories can be created in order to simplify their consultation and make it easier to find the needed information.
• List/s of previously funded projects:the information on previously funded projects may be found on the EU programme website. The information found on these documents can be helpful for two reasons, on the one hand it outlines a picture of what type of projects have already been funded by the programme and the other it can be a useful source of contacts who already have experience of successful EU project management under that specific programme.
• EU programmes Newsletter : Subscribe to the EU programmes and the Directorates-General newsletters. A quite simple and efficient tool to reach to useful information on events to attend and valuable contacts for your project ideas. Find below as an example the newsletter of the The Directorate General for Education and Culture (DG EAC).
• Conferences/Events/Seminars:the participation to this type of events is maybe the most known networking tool. Although it is important to select the events in order to be results oriented and to shortlist the websites or other sources of information in which find the information on the events of interest.
D.U. 2.2: Search for partners for a project idea
Define the ideal consortium
Identify the feature of your ideal partner
The consortium as a whole needs to be defined and partners in the consortium need to be ideally identified under different categories such as:
At early stages of project preparation, it is appropriate to profile the type of partners needed in the consortium so as to have a clearer idea of what we are looking for. And obviously defining an ideal consortium makes it easier to subsequently find the single partners.
As already stated before, in the case of centralized EU funding programmes, the consortium has to be transnational. This means that partners forming the consortium have to come from different European Member States. Also the minimum and maximum number of partners forming the consortium is included in the eligibility criteria available in the programme guide to be read carefully before structuring the consortium.
Search for partners
Once the ideal consortium has been identified we can move ahead with the selection of the individual partners.
Lead times on calls for proposals are usually 4-6 months, which may be very little time to activate a consortium, build social capital and trust, create the documentation, draft the proposal and agree on budget allocations.
Proposals work best when they build on pre-existing networks and relationships - they are fuelled by social capital, trust and energy.
At this stage, the project coordinator writes down an abstract of the project to be attached to the emails to potential partners in order to provide an idea of the project proposal to be submitted.
As already said in the previous section, the search for partners is an activity to be carried out way before the deadline.
In addition to the networking tools already analysed in a previous section, find here other tools strictly related to the search of partners.
• Portals as CORDIS have a section for the research of partners. CORDIS is the European Commissions primary public repository and portal to disseminate information on all EU-funded research projects and their results in the broadest sense.
CORDIS Website link: https://cordis.europa.eu/partners/web/guest
• Some EU programmes websites have sections dedicated to the partners’ research: contacts to be found through this type of tools are usually contacts already familiar with EU funded project proposals and chances are good that they know the procedure for submitting a project proposal (in terms of documentation and information).
• Trade Associations, Chambers of Commerce,Representative Offices of Regions are all useful sources of contacts once the type of partner we are searching is defined.
• Google or through other search engines.
• LinkedIn and Facebook: LinkedIn and Facebook have many groups to join dedicated to the research of partners for European projects.