How Can You Upgrade Your Knowledge about the EU?

Would you like to find out more about what the EU is doing in the areas that matter to you? Or are you wondering where to find information about EU funding? We would like to make it easier for you to enter the EU world. That is why we want to introduce you to the European Union’s web portal and show you how to find your way around the European level, including knowing where to find the most important information for your European success.

How Does the EU Work?

If you go to the EU homepage, you will first see the blue navigation bar at the top of the website. This is your initial point of reference for the structure of the EU website. We recommend that you start with the menu item Institutions, Law, Budget.

It is important to have a basic understanding of how the EU works and which EU institutions are relevant to you. Under the menu item Institutions and Bodies you will find an overview of all EU institutions, organisations and agencies. You can use the filter function to select those groups that are important for you. If you select ‘Executive Agency’, for example, you can find out here who in Brussels is responsible for managing EU funding in your sector.

What Is the EU Planning?

Once you have an overview of how the EU works, we recommend that you select the Priorities and Actions menu item to find out more about what is currently highest on the EU’s political agenda. After each European election, the EU sets priorities that determine its strategic and political agenda for the next five years. If you want to benefit from EU funding, for example, you should be aware of these priorities and note them as key prerequisites for successful projects and European activities.

Before you start looking for EU funding, you should familiarise yourself with the EU budget, especially the expenditure categories that are relevant to your organisation. You can find information on the EU’s annual budget here. You can search for EU investments in your region or city here.

Once you have an idea of what you would like to implement in Europe, take a look at the list of measures and thematic areas. Here you will find a brief introduction to EU policy for each topic area, as well as the latest EU news and key publications. You will usually also find direct links to relevant funding programmes under each topic.

How Can the EU Support You?

The EU offers funding for a wide range of projects and activities. Building on its current priorities and policies, there are a variety of ways to get financial support from the EU to realise your ideas. One important source of financial support is the EU funding programmes, which are financed directly from the EU budget. You will find an overview of the six main funding categories or headings and the funding programmes offered in each category here. You also have the option of searching directly for calls for proposals, i.e., calls for funding programmes, in your subject area.

As a newcomer to the topic of Europeanisation you probably have a lot of questions about these funding programmes. Am I eligible to apply? How can I apply? When can I apply? Where can I apply? The EU website also provides basic information on these questions, for example on the funding forms and how to find project partners for your EU projects, as well as detailed explanations of eligibility and practical information on the application process. We also cover the topic of EU project development in detail in our upgrade2europe handbook in the ‘Logical Framework Approach’ tool.

If you are more interested in financial support from loans or venture capital, the EU website is also a good starting point. You can use the interactive map to select the country and region you are interested in and then use the filter function to sort all offers by type and amount of funding.

Get Ready for Your upgrade2europe

You will need to find a suitable funding call if you are to benefit from EU funding programmes. Only then can you start an application project. For most programmes, applications are submitted via the European Commission’s Funding & Tenders Portal. In this portal, you can select the programme you are interested in and search for current calls for proposals. If you have discovered a call for proposals, you can use this portal to find out about the application conditions and study the application documents.

The EU online portal is a treasure trove of information. We recommend that you regularly look over the subpages that are relevant to your organisation. You will be rewarded with the latest policy developments in your sector, the latest publications on the topics that interest you, as well as news and events from the funding programmes that you are keeping an eye on.

For those who want to delve deeper, you can find European statistics online via Eurostat. If you have a little more time and leisure, the EU Library and the European database of Europe’s digital artistic and cultural heritage offer access to further treasures. Information on the EU website is often available in all 24 official EU languages.

Useful Links and Further Information

We hope that this information will inspire you to visit the EU website and make plans for your own organisation to become active in Europe. If you are particularly interested in the topics of funding and financing, we have prepared additional information for you here.

You can find further helpful articles and tips in this upgrade2europe learning tool, in our learning videos and in our upgrade2europe handbook. You can use our self-assessment tool if you would like to immediately check online to what extent your organisation is well positioned for Europe.