Dear team,

the last weeks have been busy with finding a way to finally sign the contract with the National Agency and so the EU. After we have been awarded QUEU's funding with 153.700,00 € on July 4th, we have been struggeling with the approval of Kulturkontakte e.V. - the coordinating association - to be a "capable" partner for the EU and the project's process. As it turns out now - and this is information we haven't had or have ever heard before handing in the application-, associations that work non-profit (as we do) in a charitable manner (no one here is permanently employed at the association) do not count as "capable" institutions - capable of refunding sums the EU may ask back after evaluating the project after its completion (so after all the money has been spent, meetings have been hold etc). So these institutions - in this case our association - are asked to give a bail or guarantee by its bank - which the bank gives to the heads of the association in the manner of a loan or credit. After the project has been FULLY completed a jury called in by the EU evaluates the project according to criterias that are intransparent and not public, and gives points. To every point you do not reach with your project, money is asked back. For us this now means we are taking a loan for a project who's evaluation is intransparent and likely to not achieve a 100% of what has been the goals in the application text (which project actually ever does?) and in the end being PERSONALLY liable for this money that is asked back. There are no numbers published to what extent sums have been asked back, but we have been told that "if the EU does not like the results (literally), we behold the possibility of reclaiming the full funding sum" - which in our case would mean 153.700,00 €.

I am explaining this process in such detail to make you understand what decision we are facing right now: Being liable for an unknown sum that might be asked back due to intransparent criteria?

We have gone public with this case now, reaching out to the president of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the States in the Federal Republic of Germany - who manages the National Agency in Germany that is the one deciding if we have to prove our capability through a bank loan or not. We tried to change the coordinator into University for the Arts Berlin (our partner here in Berlin), but the National Agency has rejected this possibility, suggesting to hand in the application again next year with the University as the coordinator.

Until October 27th we still have time to finally decide whether to sign the contract and handing in a bank's guarantee - or if we reject the funding. We are very sorry to inform you with such sad news after having gone all this way together. We hope you understand the situation and have patience to await our decision by the end of next week. If you wish, please contact your local team and explain the situation so far.

If you have any questions, remarks or solutions please do not hesitate to contact us at any time!

Warmly yours

Jennifer and Kerstin

-- Jennifer Aksu k&k kultkom KULTURMANAGEMENT und KOMMUNIKATION Crellestr. 22 10827 Berlin Telefon: 030 - 78 70 3350