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ECAS Newsletter Issue 2015 - 02
2015 ECAS EU Funding Guide Soon to be Released! 

Dear Reader,
 
The 21st edition of the ECAS EU Funding Guide for the Non-Profit Sector will be published on 13 March. This year´s edition will come in the form of an e-Book, with a brand new layout and a set of useful features including tips when applying for EU funding programmes and recommendations to improve and complement the fundraising strategies. 

The Funding Guide is part of the package of services ECAS offers to its Members and will be directly accessible in the Members Room. For non-members wishing to purchase the Guide, it will also be available for sale on the ECAS homepage.  

In This Issue 

 
ECAS Director addresses the 2015 NGO Forum in Riga

On 2 and 3 March 2015, the European Movement Latvia, together with the Society Integration Foundation (SIF), the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU and other partners organized an NGO Forum in Riga (Latvia), in the framework of the EU Presidency events.

The main aim of the forum was make progress concerning the involvement of civil society in decision making, in implementation of Article 11.1 and 11.2 of the Treaty on European Union. 

ECAS Director, Assya Kavrakova, was invited to intervene on a working session on challenges and future perspectives for dialogue and sharing of best practices between civil society (organisations and citizens).

More information here
Round Table on Quality Standards in the Provision of Information, Advice and Legal Aid to Citizens 

On 23 February, ECAS organised a Round Table in order to examine different approaches to ensuring quality standards in delivering information, advice and free legal aid to citizens.

The event, organised under the framework of the EC funded project “Triple A for Citizens”, marked the beginning of the second phase of the project. The new phase will be mainly focused on the creation of a network of organisations engaged in the provision of information, advice and active help to citizens in wider Europe.

During the Round Table the best EU practices for providing support to citizens were identified thanks to the successful examples provided by services such as Europe Direct, Your Europe Advice and the Office for Legal Aid Brussels. Moreover, the current quality standard practices for providing advice and legal representation to citizens in the UK were presented by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group and the Law Centres Network UK. The findings and recommendations that emerged from the discussion will form the basis for the elaboration of quality control mechanisms which will be promoted by the Triple A network over the course of the next two years.

All the presentations and the recording of the conference will be available soon on the website www.tripleacitizens.eu.
On 26 February a legal expert from Your Europe Advice - the service providing free legal advice to citizens currently ran by ECAS- participated in the lunchtime briefing "Making Single Market rules work on the ground" organised by the Committe of the Regions.

The aim of the briefing was to present the different existing services providing advice and assistance to citizens concerning the enforcement of Single Market rules. A YEA legal expert was invited to present on YEA's work providing free legal advice to citizens on their rights when moving across borders. A representative from SOLVIT also explained how this service helps citizens and businesses when their EU rights are breached by public authorities in EU countries. Finally, the Internal Market Information System (IMI) was presented. This service aims at facilitating cooperation and the exchange of information between similar bodies in different EU countries to solve specific problems.

A recording of the event is available here
Read the whole story here


Members' Story of the Month

 


This month we welcome
the Centre for European Progression
                            and the Citizen Participation Forum in Bulgaria
                                      as new Members!



The Centre for European Progression (CFEP) is an independent NGO based in Brussels focusing on the young generation. It combines young people, researchers, euro bubble workers, experts, and academic professionals who are dealing with European Affairs. CFEP debates the future of Europe and European Integration through free and easy dialogues about our common future in which every opinion matters. It examines the role of EU institutions and the possible impact of their policies and analyzes the institutional balance between the decision-making bodies in the European integration. 

CFEP’s concept is a simple series of events called ‘Euuntied’, with European Affairs papers, briefings, studies and publications as outcomes. In this respect, CFEP has organized the following events-debates since the NGO was set up in 2014: Young Pioneers in Brussels – Innovative Ideas to put Europe back on track; EUuntied on the migration in Ukraine; Juncker’s Investment Plan – With special focus on the Youth. Additionally, on the 25th of March CFEP will be holding a retrospective debate night on the first two months of the new Greek government.

More information here




Citizen Participation Forum (CPF) is an independent platform of more than 130 Bulgarian non-governmental organizations working together for the enhancement of citizen participation, good governance and regional development. The network was established in 2009 and it is the result of long term efforts of Bulgarian NGOs to join expertise and resources and work for common objectives.

Active civil society organizations, being fully involved in the policy formulation and decision-making at local, regional and national level, require accountability and transparency from public authorities. This summarizes the project "ProParticipation” of CPF, funded by the NGO program in Bulgaria under the EEA Financial Mechanism and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

This aims at measuring the impact that citizens and NGOs can have upon decision- and policy-making processes. To that purpose, CPF is developing an Index on Citizen Participation, which will assess three main areas at local and national level: the possibilities and the leaks in the regulatory environment, the intensity of citizens' and NGO’s activity, and the results achieved by different participation initiatives. The Index will be tested this year and the first results will be presented at a Citizen Participation Biennial in October 2015.
 

Are you an ECAS member interested in sharing an activity, a project or an event with us? Send us a short description and we will include it in our upcoming Newsletter!

EU Updates
 

A recent report, “Emotional Intelligence for EU Democracy”,  by Carnegie Europe reviews the reasons for declining trust and support for EU institutions and in doing so highlights several of the issues that ECAS has recently been monitoring and commenting on.

The report earmarks the perceived distance of the EU from the citizen as well as its top-down structure as causes for concern and proposes that suggested reforms to the EU “should be judged by whether they affect the experience of democracy as felt by citizens”.

Increased online activity from MEP’s, reform of the ECI and promotion of citizens’ dialogues, and strengthening of labour mobility rights are all earmarked as potential ways of redressing some of the problems the EU faces.

Click here to access full article  


Across a number of European countries, new measures regarding immigration and integration are being discussed and in some cases implemented, under conditions of once again rising anti-immigrant sentiments.

In Germany, a recent poll has found that Germans see immigration as the EU’s most important current challenge. This result follows an increase in the level of immigration to Germany in 2014, with 667 000 moving to Germany (and only 427 000 leaving) in the first half of the year. At the same time, the German authorities are receiving rising numbers of asylum applications and are reportedly concerned about the surge in these figures, recently sending a group of 20 police officers to the Hungarian/Serbian border to help control the numbers heading in to the EU.
 
Click here to access full article

EU Rights in the Spotlight


On 12 February, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) made an important ruling concerning the Posted Workers Directive, whereby it clarified the rights of posted workers with regard to their minimum rates of pay.

More concretely, in the judgement C-396/13- Sähköalojen ammattiliitto vs y v Elektrobudowa Spółka Akcyjna, the ECJ provided its interpretation of article 3.1 of Directive 96/97 on Posted Workers, which states that posted workers must be guaranteed the minimum rate of pay of the host country, as defined by the national law and/or practice of the Member State to whose territory the worker is posted.

Save the Date for ECAS Events!

  • 13 April 2015: "European Citizens Initiative (ECI) Day", Brussels

EU Events Calendar

 
Civic Engagement, Civil Society and Information
Development and Cooperation
Education, Youth and Culture
EU Institutions & Governance
Health, Well-Being and Consumers
Research and Innovation
Digital Europe
  Social Inclusion, Employment and EU Rights
Sustainable Development & Environment
Training

Open Public Consultations


Competition:

Consultation on proposed modifications to Regulation 773/2004 and the Notices on Access to the File, Leniency, Settlements and Cooperation with national courts
Deadline: 25 March 2015

Consultation on the Guidelines on the application of the specific rules set out in Articles 169, 170 and 171 of the CMO Regulation for the olive oil, beef and veal and arable crops sectors
Deadline: 5 May 2015

Communication Networks and Technology:

Consultation on the Lamy Report: the future use of the UHF TV broadcasting band
Deadline: 12 April 2015


Consultation on a new eGovernment initiative (upcoming)

Employment and Social Policies:

Consultation on the review of the Working Time Directive
Deadline: 15 March 2015

Consultation on service provision to long-term unemployment
Deadline: 15 May 2015

Energy and Climate Action: 

Consultation on the list of proposed projects of common interest
Deadline: 13 March 2015

Consultation on revision of the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) Directive
Deadline: 16 March 2015


Consultation on the Revision of Regulation (EU) No 994/2010 concerning measures to safeguard security of gas supply
Deadline: 18 March 2015

Growth: Internal market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Consultation on REACH Authorisation - Consultation on applications for low volumes and on extension of transitional arrangements for uses in legacy spare parts
Deadline: 30 April 2015

Research and Technology:

Consultation on possible EU actions in relation to global coordination of Earth observations via the Group on Earth Observations 
Deadline: 20 April 2015

Consultation on the ex-post evaluation of the 7th Framework Programme
Deadline: 22 May 2015


Transport:

Consultation on a Mid Term Review of the EU Maritime Transport Strategy
Deadline: 22 April 2015

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