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Background

The EU provides so many opportunities to its Member States to engage in EU funded projects and activities, and to help build the policy that will shape the future of the Union.

However, there is no escaping the fact that the EU is a massive and complex institution, and so navigating all of these opportunities can be confusing and even impossible for many organisations who don’t have the time or capacity to invest. As such, Irish civil society in particular are missing out on opportunities that could have a transformational impact on their organisations and communities.

This is where Access Europe comes in. The Wheel and their partners, Early Years Northern Ireland, ran the first phase of the project from 2014 – 2017 with funding from Atlantic Philanthropies. It achieved incredible results, increasing 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.

Based on this success, The Wheel partnered with the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2020 to deliver a new and improved Access Europe programme. Our goal is to be a central hub for Irish civil society in relation to EU funding.

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Objectives

Awareness

Raise awareness of the value of strategic involvement in EU programmes and share information on EU funding opportunities.

Capacity

Build the capacity of Irish civil society organisations to apply for, win and manage funding from EU programmes.

Support

Support the development of partnerships between Irish civil society organisations and European partners, as well as the creation of networks promoting participation in EU programmes and policy-making.

How?

Information & Awareness

We research the EU funding programmes for civil society and disseminate information.

Stay up to date by following us on Twitter and signing up to our newsletter.

Training & Special Events

We run information and training events around all aspects of accessing and managing EU funding.

Check out our News & Events section and sign up to our newsletter for information on our upcoming events.

Helpdesk Support

We provide advice and support to organisations throughout their EU development journey.

You can contact the Access Europe team at europe@wheel.ie.

Network Building

We connect civil society organisations to national contact points and partners in Ireland and around Europe.

Find out more about our partner database.

Our Team

If you would like to contact our team, please feel free to email europe@wheel.ie

Emma Murtagh

Programmes Manager

Emily Nelson

Programmes Officer

Christina Nuhr

Programmes Officer

Our Partners

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’.

Deirdre Garvey

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.’