A Short Guide to the European Grid: Some Useful Websites




This site is a beginners guide to EU funding.  It covers the how and where to apply and other general rules (eligibility, etc.).  It also has references and links to other more detailed advice and information.  The site is navigated by the nature of your organisation; small companies, NGO’s, young people, researchers, farmers, public bodies and other beneficiaries


The EU is a unique economic and political partnership between 28 European Countries.  It was created in the aftermath of the Second World War focused initially on fostering economic cooperation.  The result was the European Economic Community (EEC), created in 1958, and initially increasing economic cooperation between six countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.  What began as a purely economic union has evolved into an organisation spanning policy areas.  If you follow the policy areas link each is listed.  Click on those of interest and relevant policy, legislation, EU institutions and bodies, funding opportunities, publications, newsletters and statistics.


A new website launched Dec. 2015 dedicated to the European Social Charter.  TheEuropean Social Charteris a Council of Europe treaty that guarantees fundamental social and economic rights as a counterpart to the European Convention on Human Rights, which refers to civil and political rights. It guarantees a broad range of everyday human rights related to employment, housing, health, education, social protection and welfare.


The European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) is the largest European network of national, regional and local networks, involving anti-poverty NGOs and grassroot groups as well as European Organisations, active in the fight against poverty and social exclusion.  It was established in 1990. The membership of EAPN is involved in a variety of activities aimed at combating poverty and social exclusion including, education and training activities, service provision and activities aimed at the participation and empowerment of people experiencing poverty and social exclusion.


The European Network for RuralDevelopment (ENRD), is the hub that connects rural development stakeholders throughout the European Union.  The site describes how the ENRD is contributing to the effective implementation of Member States’ Rural Development Programmes by generating and sharing knowledge, as well as through facilitating information exchange and cooperation across rural Europe.  Of particular interest are the pages on Entrepreneurship, Social Aspects, Social Inclusion and Rural Poverty, Community-led Local Development (CLLD) and Knowledge Transfer & Innovation Gateway


The European Evaluation Helpdesk for Rural Development was created on 1 January 2015 and has been operating since April 2015.  It is part of the European Network for Rural Development.  It is responsible for supporting Member States and other evaluation stakeholders in meeting the objectives of the Common monitoring and evaluation system, and in facilitating networking between them.  Two key aims are;

  • stronger focus on good practice in evaluation methodologies and processes;
  • capacity building and training activities for evaluation stakeholders in the Member States;


The European Network for Education and Training, (EUNET), is a network for European educational-facilities.  The network consists of Non-Governmental-Organisations that inform, educate or in any other way spreads the European Idea to teenagers and adults.  EUNET aims to intensify the experience-exchange, to increase the quality of the offers, to develop and distribute methodical-didactic materials as well as simulations and to make the activities of the EUNET-members visible to a wider public.  It is a platform for the further education of permanent staff and honorary co-workers of European educational-facilities, as well as an agency of the interests of educational and information-facilities opposite regional, national and European institutions and sponsors.  EUNET has participatory status with the Council of Europe and is member of the conference of international non-governmental organisations.


The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) is the only pan-European anti-racist network that combines advocacy for racial equality and facilitating cooperation among civil society anti-racist actors in Europe.  The organisation was set up in 1998 by grassroots activists on a mission to achieve legal changes at European level and make decisive progress towards racial equality in all EU Member States.  ENAR works on specific forms of racism against Roma, people of African descent and Black Europeans, Muslims, Jews and migrants, collects and measures discrimination and inequalities in Europe, has an interest in the labour market and is involved in advocacy in the European Parliament.


Social Innovation Europe (SIE) is Europe’s largest active social innovation community.  Its primary purpose is to share information on what, how and why social innovation is developing in each country.  It produces publications, organises events and interviews key players.  The focus in the medium term is to continue to grow the network, deepen the engagement of the community, facilitate cross border collaborationsand spark debate on important issues.



The Association for the European Regions (AER) is for regional stakeholders across the European continent: politicians, officers, experts, advisors.  AER has 200 member regions from 35 countries.  While it is essentially a local government organisation it has useful information on policy and practice issues and themes.  The focus for 2016 is revitalising democracy.  It also publishes calls for partners for particular projects for example the latest just closed was on innovative “cooperative communities” approach, integrating the core ideas of social cooperatives as a basis for creating a partnership among various stakeholders at local level, for creating positive synergies, strengthening cooperation and information exchange, establishment of networks and enhancing social capital


The European Youth Forum (YFJ) is the platform of youth organisations in Europe.  It currently represents 100 youth organisations, both National Youth Councils and International Non-Governmental Youth Organisations.  YFJ works to empower young people to participate actively in society to improve their own lives by representing and advocating their needs and interest and those of their organisations.  YFJ is working on 3 goals;

In the current uncertain political and social context that affects young people, they can be powerful catalysts for positive change and contributors of innovative solutions to Europe’s problems.

  • Greater youth participation
  • Stronger youth organisations
  • Increased youth autonomy and inclusion


SOCOLNET is an international technical and scientific association, not for profit, that aims at promoting and stimulating scientific research, education, technological development, scientific and technical interactions among researchers in the area of Collaborative Networks, including virtual organizations, virtual enterprises, virtual communities, virtual laboratories, and related areas.  Having said that the bulk of its membership is European.



Founded in 1988 to coordinate the ELISE (European Local Initiatives System of Exchanges) programme, and initially focused on the areas of employment policies, training, and socio-occupational integration, the European Association for Information on Local Development (AEIDL) expanded the scope of its activities in the 90s, notably in the field of rural development, and in particular through its role in coordinating the European LEADER Observatory and the network of “Rural Information Carrefours” (EU information points in rural areas).  Now a more diversified organisation, AEIDL’s activities and expertise cover the environment and sustainable development, territorial development (rural, urban, regional and local), employment and social affairs, and citizenship.  This includes vocational training and professional integration, support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the information society.


The Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) was established to enhance the quality of economic policy-making within Europe and beyond, by fostering high quality, policy-relevant economic research, and disseminating it widely to decision-makers in the public and private sectors.  CEPR is based on a new model of organization, a “thinknet”. It is a distributed network of economists, who collaborate through the Centre on a wide range of policy-related research projects and dissemination activities.


The European Association for International Education is a non-profit, member-led organisation serving individuals actively involved in the internationalisation of their institutions through a combination of training, conferences and knowledge acquisition and sharing. The focus is higher education with best practice and workable solutions to internationalisation challenges and fostering strategic exchanges.


The European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) is the voice of non-formal adult education in Europe. EAEA is a European NGO with 137 member organisations in 44 countries.  Originally known as the European Bureau of Adult Education, EAEA was founded in 1953 by representatives from a number of European countries.  It promotes adult learning and access to and participation in non-formal adult education for all, particularly for groups currently under-represented.  EAEA has a number of publications, reports and project information and inform policy and practice across Europe.


The European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning (EUCIS-LLL) is an umbrella association that gathers 39 European organisations active in the field of education and training, coming from all EU Member States and beyond. Currently these networks represent more than 50 000 educational institutions covering all sectors of formal, non-formal and informal learning. Their members reach out to several millions of beneficiaries.  In 2015 the shortened name and new visual identity was adopted.  They became the Lifelong Learning Platform.


Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe (EPALE) is a multilingual open membership community for teachers, trainers, researchers, academics, policy makers and anyone else with a professional role in adult learning across Europe.  It is set up around the sharing of content related to adult learning, including news, blog posts, resources, and events and courses.  EPALE is funded by the European Commission, as the latest development in an ongoing commitment to improving the quality of adult learning provision in Europe.



European Policy Institutes Network(EPIN) is a network of European think tanks and policy institutes with members in most member states and candidate countries of the European Union.  It was established in 2002 during the constitutional Convention on the Future of Europe with partial funding under the PRINCE ‘Future of Europe’ programme of the European Commission.  Then, its principle role was to follow the works of the Convention.  More than 30 conferences in member states and candidate countries were organised in the following year.  Currently there are 41 members  EPIN members from 27 countries, within and outside of the EU.  The member institutes are quite diverse in size and structure, but are all characterised by political independence and the absence of any predetermined point of view or political affiliation.  EPIN organises three events in Brussels and beyond per year; as well as ad hoc conferences or other activities. The network publishes joint publications on topical issues.