This is particularly true in the case of funding under the IPA and is the main reason why this Manual and Toolkit is specifically designed for CSOs in the Western Balkans and Turkey.

It can be extremely challenging for individual CSOs which are trying to understand how investment decisions are made within EU institutions and how to successfully apply for EU funding. Indeed, for many CSOs the challenge seems like an insoluble mystery, and for organisations in the Western Balkans region and Turkey, despite being geographically and, in terms of forthcoming accession, close to the EU, the EU’s funding processes can appear mysterious and at times frustrating.

To help clarify and explain this process we have produced this Manual. It and the accompanying Toolkit is aimed at assisting CSOs in the Western Balkans and Turkey to understand the process of accession to and subsequent successful management of EU funds.  It is not a comprehensive guide to EU funds nor a guarantee of success when making applications for them.

It is, however, intended to show CSOs how they can become both more efficient and more effective in accessing and managing EU funds.

The Manual is made up of three sections: firstly, this introduction which explains the nature of EU funding and the specific opportunities in the region; secondly, a section describing how CSOs can navigate their way from the very beginning of the process of identify funding opportunities to the very end, where they’re reporting on funds spent; and thirdly, a brief section to explain how to use the accompanying Toolkit, and finally a glossary of terms and references.