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European grants: the experience of cafebabel.com

Alexandre HEULLY - Communication Manager of cafebabel.com

Could you please present your structure and the special features that make CafeBabel original among the European media ?

Cafebabel.com is the first European magazine translated in 6 languages on Internet (English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Polish and Italian) that targets the « eurogeneration », young Europeans from 18 to 30 years old. Created in 2001 by Erasmus students, cafebabel.com is an association based on the concept of quality participative journalism, which aims at conciliating the energy of participative action with a professional journalism. Lire_La_Suite

Could you please present your structure and the special features that make CafeBabel original among the European media ?

Cafebabel.com is the first European magazine translated in 6 languages on Internet (English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Polish and Italian) that targets the « eurogeneration », young Europeans from 18 to 30 years old. Created in 2001 by Erasmus students, cafebabel.com is an association based on the concept of quality participative journalism, which aims at conciliating the energy of participative action with a professional journalism.

Today, the association is made of more than 1000 voluntary contributors through all Europe that work on the editorial content, and 12 employees in Paris and Warsaw in charge of the edition and coordination work. The aim of cafebabel.com is to contribute to the emergence of a European public opinion and to give current events a European perspective.




You have been financed by European grants . Which funding programme did you apply for and what process did you follow? Have you met any difficulty ?



Cafebabel.com succeeded in obtaining various European aids. Among them, a notable example was a grant from the Youth Programme ; thanks to our multinational team, we have been able to obtain this aid more easily. We have been allowed a functioning grant from the Directorate General for Education and Culture in 2005 under the Support to Organisations and Civil Societies with a European interest ; the process has been a little bit longer and more complicated because of the stricter eligibility criteria, notably the obligation to have an employee with at least one year's service. Others funds helped us, still through the Directorate General for Education and Culture as part of the Active Citizenship financed actions , and recently we solicited the European Parliament support for our 2009 elections project.
We were aware of these grants thanks to our research on Internet. It is important to have people dedicated to applications on a full-time basis, because this kind of work demands time and strictness. Deadlines are often short so you have to be really reactive. Moreover, important resources must be planned for writing activity reports, and especially for financial reports which are often significant.




What do you think about the communication on European fundings? Do you think it reaches potential project leaders enough?



European Institutions work with a transparency culture. Information is sometimes excessive, but it is systematically available on EU websites. We are also keen on stressing the high availability showed by our contacts in the Directorates General during the application process. These grants have been a significant element for our development, which is why I think it is important for project leaders to make a monitoring work on released calls for proposals.

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