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A few things to consider– general problems during the application process

The first calls for proposals are the first test in practice of the new application system for both the applicants and the management bodies.

What are the first experiences and lessons learned after the calls? Which were the most general problems?

Lead Partner Principle - Participants tended to be careful with regard to the „lead partner principle”: In many instances partners did not want to take on project level responsibility (though this does not mean unlimited responsibility) for activities which will be carried out and co-ordinated by other project partners. In the present system, it is obvious that the success of a project depends on the joint efforts of all partners, that is the reason why it is always emphasized that projects should be based on real needs and motivated partners are needed to implement them. The submitted applications show that numerous partnerships were formulated and partners are willing to jointly work for the common objectives.

Pre-financing - Initially, there was no possibility of pre-financing. The lack of advance payment decreased the motivation of local actors because they would have had to carry the burden of covering the payment periods from external resources, which would have involved additional costs for the partners. At this point, however, the Managing Authority and the Joint Technical Secretariat succeeded in allocating Hungarian partners advance payment from state co-financing and hopefully the problem will be solved similarly for Romanian participants, as well. For Hungarian partners 100% of the state co-financing will be transferred in advance.

Meeting Deadlines - The programme management faced a recurring problem seeing the applicants preparing their projects in the last days before the deadline for submission. The Joint Technical Secretariat helps to provide the necessary assistance in such cases too, but the experience shows that often the lack of time and resources is the main reason for unsatisfactory quality of certain projects. Although we highlight in our information events that it is advisable to save a few days or weeks to finalize applications, leaving enough time for a comprehensive quality check before the submission deadline, this approach seems hard to eliminate at several applicants.

Bilingualism - Already in the first phase of the evaluation process, it became obvious that for several applicants the bilingual application process posed a problem when completing the application form. In addition, inaccuracies occurred between the different language versions due to translations.

An exhaustive description of Frequent Mistakes made during the Application Process will be soon available on our webpage.

The experience gained will be used in the following calls to make application processes fluent and avoid extra burden on the applicants. With the publication of the project results we hope to attract more actors to participate in the programme in the near future. The experience of the first two calls will also be incorporated into our information activities to offer more support and guidance for potential applicants.