The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic for Investments and Informatization (ODPMII) organized, together with the information and advisory centres, the Info Days for citizens, entrepreneurs, local governments, universities and the non-profit sector. The topic referred to the directly managed programs of the European Union (EU). Almost 250 participants in four Slovak cities learned a lot of practical information on the possibility of obtaining funding, as well as on programs, such as Horizon 2020, Erasmus+, LIFE or Creative Europe.
“The goal of the information days in Trnava, Banská Bystrica, Prešov and Žilina was clear: to present to the potential applicants the programmes, through which they can finance their projects, and then give them practical advice to make the whole process as simple as possible for them,” explained Denisa Žiláková, Director General of the Central Coordination Body section of ODPMII.
The directly managed programmes are managed directly by the EU outside the European Structural and Investment Funds in two forms, i.e. either via the grants to the specific projects related to the EU policies that can be applied for under the call for proposals, or, as a second option, in the form of public contracts by the European institutions, for example to purchase services, works or goods. These can include studies, training, and organization of conferences or purchase of IT equipment. These are the calls for tenders.
On the Info Days, help and advice was provided not only by experts from the ODPMII, but also from the national contact points and also by the successful beneficiaries, who already have experience in drawing money from these programmes. For example, participants learned about open calls, how tenders are to be submitted, what they have to meet, if participating in the calls, but also how the programmes are linked to Euro funds. The Info Days were held in a very creative atmosphere and there was a fruitful and interesting discussion held on individual topics.
For example, the beneficiaries presented the extra successful project “Be SpectACTive!”, which is a part of “Divadelná Nitra”, the largest theatre festival. It is supported by the EU from the Creative Europe programme. The festival presents the theatrical, film, art and music works that are inspiring and non-traditional. The LIFE programme supports a project that protects the environment and the climate for birds and endangered species living in Slovakia. Another successful project supported by Erasmus+ improves the skills and knowledge of young people in their last year at school. It also targets the unemployed young people and helps them set up social enterprises to make better use of the local natural and human resources, promote the economic development of rural areas, and prevent brain drain.
“We presented successful projects to applicants, and they have proven that it is not difficult at all to obtain funding from the directly managed projects of the European Union and, therefore, there is nothing to worry about,” said Denisa Žiláková. As the response of the participants was very positive and useful advice and practical experience was of great interest, the ODPMII plans to continue in the similar information activities on the directly managed EU programmes.
The Info Days also included the introduction of the new website of ODPMII www.eurofondy.gov.sk. Here, the interested parties will find comprehensive information on the financial assistance from the EU funds in the current, as also in the future programming period of 2021-2027, or on successful projects and the European euro-fund policy. There are currently 170 open calls published on the web, for which potential applicants from the Info Days can apply, too.