An EU funding support service for the Irish civil sector
Access Europe is a three-year programme, led by The Wheel and funded by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, to provide a support and capacity-building programme for Irish civil society organisations to better access EU funds and engage in EU policy.
Through its various funding programmes, the EU offers a multitude of opportunities for Irish civil society to engage in projects to help reach strategic goals. As a sector, we are not fully engaging in these opportunities, and are therefore not actively contributing to shaping EU policy that affects us every day through this engagement.
The Access Europe programme aims to address this through its capacity-building programme. It first ran from 2014 – 2017 with funding from Atlantic Philanthropies. In its first iteration, it increased EU funding in a cohort of civil society groups from €3.9 million in 2016 to over €22.53 million by the end of 2017.
With support from the Department of Foreign Affairs, The Wheel launched the next phase of the project in November 2020.
We will deliver this programme through four key services:
INFORMATION & AWARENESS
Includes researching and disseminating information about funding programmes and calls relevant to civil society and developing educational materials and resources.
TRAINING & SPECIAL EVENTS
We run information and training events around EU funding and various aspects of successfully securing and delivering projects.
Providing one to one advice and support to organisations on their EU development journey.
This involves networking and signposting at national level with various EU contact points and agencies and building networks at EU level to connect Irish civil society to Europe.
THOMAS BYRNE TD
Minister of State for European Affairs
‘It is vitally important that civil society organisations are fully aware of the wide range of possible EU funding opportunities. The Wheel, as National Contact Point, will play a key role to publicise these and to also improve the capacity of civil society to apply for these funding opportunities’.
CEO of The Wheel
'This is a very significant investment in civil society. The programme will give Ireland’s civil society organisations access to funding opportunities and a chance to engage in European affairs. The Wheel has a strong track record for delivering European programmes and we look forward to working with the Department of Foreign Affairs to deliver this project.’