European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) - Country/multi-country programmes
The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) has been in place since 2007. The overall goal of the instrument is to promote enhanced co-operation and progressive economic integration between the European Union and its neighbouring partner countries. Particularly, this is an instrument for assistance to those countries which will not accede to the European Union in the near future. It also encourages partner countries’ efforts aimed at promoting good governance and equitable social and economic development.
The overall ENPI budget for the period of 2007 to 2013 is €11,181 billion. 95% are allocated to country and multi-country programmes, i.e. €10,621 billion.
The exact amounts of each grant and tender are announced in the Guidelines for each call for proposal, which can be found on the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/funding/index_en.htm
To get an indication of a grant size before a call for proposal is published, please refer to the “Annual Work Programmes”: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/ap/index_en.htm
The percentage of own contribution or co-funding necessary is specified in the Guidelines of each call. The status of your organisation will also effect how much of your own contribution you will be expected to provide.
Priorities are country-specific. Funds are allocated following country and multi-country strategy papers which include multi-annual indicative programmes specifying the priority objectives for each country and the indicative multi-annual financial allocations. Further, the European Commission prepares annual action plans describing the objectives pursued, the fields of intervention, the expected results, the management procedures and the total amount of financing planned. They contain a description of the operations to be financed, an indication of the amounts allocated for each operation and an indicative implementation timetable.
The regulation establishing the instrument provides a non-exhaustive list of 29 different types of measures which can be funded by the ENPI. The measures relevant for NGOs working in the field of SRH and population programmes are the following:
- Measures aiming at poverty reduction, to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);
- Measures promoting social development, social inclusion, gender equality, non-discrimination, employment and social protection, including protection of migrant workers, social dialogues, and respect for trade union rights and core labour standards, including on child labour;
- Measures promoting health, education and training, including not only measures to combat the major communicable diseases and non-communicable diseases and disorders but also access to services and education for good health, including reproductive and infant health for girls and women;
- Measures promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, including women's rights and children's rights;
- Measures fostering the development of civil society and of non-governmental organisations.
The regulation establishing the ENPI allows a broad range of actors to access the ENPI funds.
With regard to Non-State Actors, they can be:
- Non governmental organisations
- Organisations representing national and/or ethnic minorities
- Local citizens' groups and traders' associations
- Co-operatives, trade unions, organisations representing economic and social interests
- Local organisations (including networks) involved in decentralised regional co-operation and integration
- Consumer organisations, women's and youth organisations, teaching, cultural, research and scientific organisations; universities
- Churches and religious associations and communities; the media
- Cross-border associations, non-governmental associations and independent foundations
The annual action plans determine how assistance is provided. It also gives details on eligibility restrictions when applying for funding.
There are two main documents which regulate the practical implementation of the ENPI:
1. “Practical Guide to Contract Procedures for EC External Actions” (PRAG). The updated PRAG version, after the adoption of the Lisbon treaty, is available here.
The purpose of the PRAG is to provide users with all the information necessary to undertake procurement or a grant procedure from the very first steps to the award of contracts. The annexes cover both the procurement phase and the execution of contracts.
2. “Rules and Procedures”. This document explains the basic principles the implementation of an action. It is available at the following link.
The duration of an action is defined in the guidelines for the individual call. However, almost all actions have implementation periods exceeding 12 months.
The deadline for submission will be defined in the guidelines for the specific call for proposal. To get an indicative deadline, it is advisable to look at the “Annual work plan” available on this link:
Application Forms are available online and are published at the same time as the call for proposal and the guidelines.
Each time a call for proposal is published, guidelines for that particular call are also published. If the call for proposals is a “Restricted call”, applicants will be asked to submit a Concept Note. Thereafter, applicants whose Concept Notes have been pre-selected will be invited to submit a Full Application Form. However, if the call for proposal is an “Open Call”, all applicants are invited to send in their Concept Notes and Full Proposals at the same time.
Application and Procedures
The European Commission has increasingly decentralised the management of external assistance. Some partner countries have established managing units within national ministries. In some cases the ministries themselves or their agencies publish the opportunities. Notwithstanding, many calls are still managed by the European Commission, either in Brussels or in the EC delegations. A non-exhaustive list of calls is published on the EuropeAid website. This website has just been reviewed in order to make it more user-friendly.
Most of the funds are awarded via building, supply and service contracts. As the main focus of the ENPI lies on technical assistance, the majority of funds flow into service contracts. In addition to that, it is possible to apply for grants. Both tenders and grants are awarded following strict rules. These rules apply to the management and nature of calls for proposals/tenders. All EC external assistance follows the same set of rules (EC management procedure).
In order to succeed in accessing EU funds, a good understanding of the rules and procedures of the calls are crucial. Small administrative mistakes, such as submission after the deadline or missing documents lead to immediate rejection. NGOs considering responding to a call should carefully read the guidelines. Project objectives should directly be linked to the objectives of the call. Applicants should also read the relevant policy papers and refer to them, when appropriate. Manuals on how to manage an EC project can also be found on the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/multimedia/publications/index_en.htm
NGOs with little experience in applying for EU funding should consider participating in other NGO’s projects funded by the EU. As a junior partner they can build their capacity and get acquainted to EU requirements without taking full responsibility of a project. Consult and liaise with both the EU Delegation in the beneficiary country and the Brussels-based officials. Another information source is CONCORD Europe, the European confederation of relief and development NGOs. You might also get support from your national NGO platform.1
Manuals on how to manage an EC project can also be found on the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/multimedia/publications/index_en.htm
1 Contact information can be found in the NGO Platform Contact Information section of this Guide.