On Wednesday, November 13, 2019 MEUSAC organised a conference which focused on making EU funds more accessible to entities, NGOs and businesses in Malta, particularly ones that don’t have enough human resources to prepare an application in a bid to apply for funds.
Minister for European Affairs and Equality Edward Zammit Lewis emphasised the fact that the Ministry will be doing more to help entities who don’t have enough resources and funds to get expert advice to apply for funds, by enhancing human resources under the ministry’s wing in this field. He also lauded MEUSAC for its work in assisting organisations apply for funds.
Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia called on organisations and businesses to think outside the box and emerge with more ideas or follow best practices of other countries while also highlighting that business plans are drawn up in a bid to apply for EU funds for their projects.
MEUSAC Head Mandy Falzon cited a number of success stories involving citizens after having tapped into EU funds.
Director of EU funds at MEUSAC Darren Grasso spoke about the fact that EU funds help impact all citizens in a good way through an array of EU-funded projects. also urged NGOs to participate in the training sessions organised by MEUSAC on project writing.
A panel discussion was held comprising of representatives of various organisations that turned to MEUSAC for EU funding-related assistance. The representatives of the Zejtun Local Council. Vets on Wheels and Hospice Malta gave an overview of their success story. Hospice, for instance, is working on an infrastructural project in Sta Venera to widen its free services for patients with terminal illnesses who require palliative care, having described MEUSAC’s support in the application process as ‘priceless’.
A BirdLife Malta representative present for the conference explained that some NGOs get discouraged to apply for EU funds since a percentage of the grant applied for is given after the project is completed. He suggested that the Government helps NGOs facing cash flow problems to bridge the gap until that percentage of the grant is given or for the Government to act as a guarantor in such cases.
Representatives of various businesses, NGOs, local councils and Government entities later participated in workshops on the current EU funding opportunities available.
During the discussion, it emerged that a good application for funds depends on a sound detailed plan organisations applying for the funds should have, a plan with clear objectives. It is vital that projects are of benefit to society and the EU itself as well. It also emerged that those applying for funds should start off with small projects until they gain more experience and get contacts.