The Wheel and the Department of the Taoiseach today launched a new information service to promote awareness of the EU funded, Europe for Citizens Programme, and to facilitate access to funding for activities such as town twinning, town networks and civil society projects that are currently funded through this pan-European initiative.
The information service can be accessed online at www.europeforcitizens.ie, through Twitter (@EU4citizens) and LinkedIn, or by contacting The Wheel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Events will also be held across the country to promote participation in the Europe for Citizens Programme.
The service is being funded by the Department of the Taoiseach and will be operated by The Wheel, a national network representing 1,150 non-profit organisations.
Minister Dara Murphy, speaking at the launch today said "I look forward to The Wheel, as the recently appointed Irish National Contact Point, increasing civil society knowledge of and interest in this important Programme.
“The Europe for Citizens Programme has an EU wide budget of €186m to 2020 and support is available for a wide range of activities including civil society projects, debates and cooperation events, town twinning, networks of towns and for EU-wide organisations promoting shared objectives
“Promoting public awareness about Ireland’s role in - and relationship with - the EU is a priority of mine and of the Government. Through active promotion of the opportunities which are available under the Citizens Programme, The Wheel can contribute in a real and lasting way to this aim/endeavour," said Minister Murphy.
Also speaking at the launch event today, Barbara Nolan, Head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland, congratulated The Wheel on being appointed the Irish contact point for the Europe for Citizens programme. She said “I hope the appointment of a new contact point will be positive for the programme as in recent years, almost no Irish entities have applied for funding. Grants are there for the taking provided that the projects are good and the applications are submitted. If no one submits an application, then no-one can get a grant!” She encouraged organisations to get in contact with The Wheel at an early stage of their project planning for assistance with their applications.
Deirdre Garvey, Chief Executive of The Wheel added: “Through this programme, citizens have the opportunity to be involved in transnational exchanges and cooperation activities, contributing to developing a sense of European citizenship. We urge community and voluntary organisations, local authorities, educational institutions, sport bodies and other civil society groups to make use of the many opportunities available to them through this programme.”
The European Union established the Europe for Citizens Programme in 2014 to bring Europe closer to its citizens and to enable them to participate fully in the European project.
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