Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride has joined colleague Alyn Smith, SNP Member of the European Parliament for Scotland by calling on Scottish charities and organisations to take advantage of a new package of EU funding for voluntary humanitarian aid work.
Linda said “A European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, an initiative which will see European citizens enrol to be called upon in times of crises across the world, has recently been established and is now calling for proposals from relevant charities and organisations for pilot projects.

“East Kilbride has many organisations represented by volunteers in the developing countries who could take advantage of this funding.”

Alyn Smith MEP said “Last year I signed a European Parliament Written Declaration for the creation of a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps and so I’m delighted things are starting to take shape. This call for proposals signals a fantastic opportunity for Scots organisations to gain financial help on current, relevant projects.

“Scotland has a real culture of compassionate volunteering and this funding will enable Scots organisations to continue or develop their volunteering efforts when times are hard.
“The European Commission is one of the world’s most important providers of humanitarian aid and this is a significant step in enabling EU citizens to engage with the valuable work they already carry out. I hope the pilot project is successful, and leads to the establishment of a permanent scheme. This money is there for the taking and so I encourage Scots organisations to get their application forms in.”



Catriona Matheson, Advisor to Alyn Smith MEP




Call for proposals 2012 for pilot projects- January 2012


Dear MSPs,

I want to alert you to an opportunity for some possible EU funding for voluntary groups in your area.  It’s a short timetable – only two months – but it’s an opportunity.

 Last year, I signed a European Parliament Written Declaration for the creation of a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, which is now starting to take shape.

The EU is now welcoming proposals for pilot projects, whereby funding will be given to volunteer projects as part of this initiative.

Scotland has a real culture of compassionate volunteering and this funding will enable Scots organisations to continue or develop their volunteering efforts; this money is there for the taking and so I encourage Scots organisations to get their application forms in.




Alyn Smith MEP



Main points

  • €2,450,000 in funding is available
  • €675,000 maximum per project
  • EU will fund 80%
  • The funded projects must be about developing standards for volunteering in humanitarian aid and/or civil protection (further details in the brief)
  • The focus should be international – things like disaster relief or capacity building
  • NGOs, local authorities, public sector operators and others can apply.  Must be non-profit-making
  • Need to have a track record in deploying volunteers in third countries
  • Have to operate with partners from other EU Member States


These are fairly specialised circumstances but some Scottish organisations already operate in this ground, including churches and the FBU as well as charities, and local authorities may be well placed to take advantage. 


You may already be aware of organisations in your area which operate programmes which fit these requirements or are well placed to undertake them or you may be able to get some good local press to publicise this and encourage organisations to engage.  Please feel free to use quotes from Alyn’s news release in your own if it will help.




The European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps was founded with the objective “to establish framework for joint contributions from young Europeans to the humanitarian aid operations of theUnion.”


In order to set up the Corps, the Commission has engaged in a stocktaking phase to obtain a broad overview of the current situation of volunteering in humanitarian aid. All relevant stakeholders have been consulted through a range of bilateral meetings, surveys, stakeholder conferences and a public on-line consultation during spring 2011. A Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council was adopted on 23/11/20101 setting out first reflections on the nature and set-up of the future Corps. The Commission is committed to making this a programme of effective solidarity in action, allowing Europeans to express solidarity with those in need while enhancing the response capacity of the humanitarian sector and building local capacities in third countries.


This call for proposals intends to select pilot projects developing some of the possible features of the future Corps. A first call in 2011 has delivered interesting learning through the proposals received and the implementation of the projects focusing on volunteers in projects on crisis prevention and post crises recovery. This call 2012 aims at enlarging the scope of testing options, including civil protection and crises response as eligible activities.


These different activities will feed into the preparation of the legislative proposal establishing the Corps. This legislative proposal is tabled for 2012; the final Corps is expected to be established by 2014.


The EVHC will attempt to co-ordinate existing humanitarian efforts across the EU member states to avoid duplication, share best practice and maximise effectiveness.



Objective of the programme and priority issues


The pilot projects will test some of the possible modules of the future Corps and inform the European Commission’s work setting up the Corps.

For the purpose of this call, three different ‘lots’ will be attributed to achieve results in the following areas:


  • 1. Strengthening resilience
  • 2. Building civil protection capacities
  • 3. Responding to disaster



Financial allocation provided by the contracting authority


The overall indicative amount made available under this Call for Proposals is EUR 2,450 000.


The Contracting Authority reserves the right not to award part or all available funds.

The indicative amounts allocated to the different ‘lots’ is as follows:


• Lot 1: 1,350 000 €

• Lot 2: 675,000 €

• Lot 3: 425,000 €


The maximum amount awarded per proposal will be EUR 675,000 for lot 1 and 2,

EUR 25,000 for lot 3.


The maximum EU funding rate (percentage applied to the total eligible costs according to the project budget) is 80% per proposal.


The balance must be financed from the applicant’s or partners’ own resources, or from sources other than the European Union budget or the European Development Fund.

When the grant is awarded and both parties have signed the Grant Agreement, the

Commission will pay 80% of its contribution as a pre-financing payment. No further pre-financing or interim payment will be made. The final payment of up to 20% of the EU contribution will be made when the Commission has accepted the final technical report and it will be based on the final financial statement and the eligible costs of the activity/project calculated by the Commission.


The duration of a project should not exceed 15 months.




Who can submit a proposal?


Applicants must:


  • Be non profit making


  • Be specific types of organisations such as: non-governmental organisations,

public sector operators, local authorities, international organisations


  • Be nationals of aMemberStateof the European Union (this obligation does not apply to international organisations)


  • Be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action with

their partners, not acting as an intermediary


  • Have a proven track record of successful management and deployment of

volunteers in third countries, including the last three years of operation



How to apply


The application form and further information on the application process can be found here:




An applicant can only submit one proposal. The deadline for the submission of applications is 05/03/2012. Any application submitted after the deadline will automatically be rejected.


Questions of clarification may in addition be sent by e-mail (no later than 21 days before the deadline for the submission of applications) to ECHO-POLICIES@ec.europa.eu.


In the interest of equal treatment of applicants, the Contracting Authority cannot give a prior opinion on the eligibility of an applicant, a partner, an action or specific activities.


This website will, in time, contain Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:




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