Saturday, 19 February 2011

How to get an EU grant - without having to try too hard

This is no longer a secret. If you and your colleagues/friends/relatives etc. are in need of a cash injection from the European Union, for whatever activities you would like to occupy yourself with, there is one foolproof method that is guaranteed to succeed:

You start by devising a project. It does not matter at all what the project is about; the only thing you have to remember is, THE PROJECT MUST IN SOME WAY BE CONNECTED TO CLIMATE CHANGE. It cannot be overemphasised: Without the link to climate change, your project application most likely will fail abysmally. (A tip: it is good to try to involve some likeminded people from at least a couple of other EU countries in your project. This “internationalisation” gives your project an aura of credibility, which is much appreciated by the EU bureaucracy).

The next step is to actually apply for EU money. It may be worthwile to try to try to get some assistance from one or several of the numerous green lobby groups in Brussels. They are all good buddies with the EU green bureaucrats, who make sure that the money actually is delivered. Don´t forget that he bureaucratic wheels of the European Union are not the quickest to turn. Finally your patience will be amply rewarded.

For educational purposes only, here is an example of a succesful project that has received over €2,2 million from the European Union (contributed by European taxpayers). The IMAGINE 2020 project was one of thirty projects presented for 600 people at the “Culture in Motion: Pathways to EU2020” conference in Brussels recently:

The IMAGINE 2020 – seeing climate change through art project, which backs associations in Germany, France, the UK, Netherlands, Portugal, Latvia, Slovenia and Croatia which are supporting artists who tackle the issue of climate change through art and who present environmentally sustainable performances. The project, which runs from 2010 to 2015, received a grant of €2.2 million – equivalent to 50% of its costs. Theresa von Wuthenau, project coordinator, says that the EU support helps to “explore how artists can help the shift towards a low carbon economy, by engaging a generation of artists in Europe with climate issues and by promoting creative exchanges with the world of science, philosophy and history.”

Read the entire article here.

The IMAGINE 2020 project has a website, but at least today (19.2.2011) it was empty:
(It is, of course, possible that the emptiness is intentional. Could it exemplify an "environmentally sustainable performance"?)

I was able to locate the following information on the IMAGINE 2020 from a pdf powerpoint presentation available on the net:

Artists and the cultural sector can and must play
an important role in the necessary cultural
shift needed if we want to maintain hope for a
sustainable, human and beautiful future.

6 partners – 4 countries
2 years (June 2008 – May 2010)
Budget: € 467 865 EU: €200 000
Kaaitheater – Brussels (BE)
Théâtre Le Quai – Angers (FR)
Domaine d’O – Montpellier (FR)
LIFT – London (GB)
Artsadmin – London (GB)

11 partenaires – 9 pays
5 ans (Juillet 2010 – Juin 2015)
Budget: € 4,427,510 EU: € 2,213,754.00
Partenaires Thin Ice +
Rotterdamse Schouwburg (NL)
Kampnagel, Hamburg (DE)
Transforma, Torres Vedras (PT)
Domino, Zagreb (HR)
NTIL, Riga (LV)

Imagine 2020
To research the unique role European artists/arts
organisations can play as catalyst for change
To practice environmentally sustainable ways of
producing /touring while maintaining trans‐national
mobility of artists/art works
To create unexpected spaces for dialogue between arts,
science, and civil society
To contribute to the cultural memory of this crucial time

Imagine 2020
Expected Results
A strong body of innovative artistic work addressing
Climate Change
A consolidation of cultural initiatives to become an
important voice in the European Climate Change
Awareness among diverse audiences and change in their
A set of tools for artists/arts institutions to integrate
Climate Change concerns in their working practices

IMAGINE 2020 will certainly employ project coordinator Theresa von Wuthenau and a number of "artists" for a few years, but is this really how European tax payers´ money should be spent at a time when governments almost across the line are introducing an ever growing number of austerity measures? I think not.

Visitors coming via Tom Nelson´s blog: Welcome!

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