The Project Officer will have set a meeting with the Coordinator for negotiations on behalf of the Commission. Other partners are encouraged to attend this meeting, as it is in their direct interests to do so.
Most likely your Project Officer will have asked the coordinator to prepare some material for the first meeting:
• First draft of the Description Of Work
• Have to have the Grant Preparation Forms (GPF) ready from each partner
• And, in parallel should deal with the Consortium Agreement
It is vital to establish a good working relationship with the Project Officer. If you are not the Co-ordinator, then do it on your own. When you happen to be in Brussels set up an informal meeting to get to know each other and perhaps invite him to lunch. This meeting should not be portrayed as being directly related to the project but rather more related to helping you understand the area under his control to potentially identify other things of interest and of course to get to know each other and the ways of working.
Projects themselves should treat the Project Officer as a member of the team and he should be invited to project meetings and events. This is a team game - and both the partners and the Project Officer have a stake in its successful outcome.
Remember that the Project Officer is there to help you to the best of his ability. He wants the project to succeed. If you come across any difficulties or problems from this stage on, then keep your Project Officer informed.
EFPC provides in-house and public workshops on how to hold successful Contract Negotiations and how to best protect your interests. Please contact us here for more information.