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Actions with Third Countries

The Culture Programme is also open to cooperation with Third Countries that have concluded association or cooperation agreements with the Community and that have ratified the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions


Each year the special action enables one or more countries to be the subject of a call for proposals. The call enables grants to be given for cooperation projects, which correspond to the objectives of the Culture Programme.

The country(ies) is/are indicated each year on the website of the Executive Agency at the latest 4 months before the deadline for submission.

The only eligible applicants are public or private organisations with legal personality whose main activity is in the cultural field (areas of cultural or creative activity) and whose head office is in one of the countries taking part in the Programme.

The deadline for applications is 3 May every year.

To be eligible, projects must:
- have a duration of not more than 24 months;
- involve a minimum of three co-organisers drawn from three different countries taking part in the Programme;
- be the subject of an application containing a signed mandate for each co-organiser listing his essential obligations;
- involve cultural cooperation with at least one partner from the selected Third Country; at least 50% of the project activities should take place in that country;
- be based on a cooperation agreement concluded by the participating cultural operators (coordinator, co-organiser and partner or partners in the Third Country or Countries; this agreement is signed by the coordinator, the co-organisers and the partner or partners in the Third Country and describes the nature of their cooperation;
- be the subject of an application requesting a grant of no less than EUR 50 000 and no more than EUR 200 000;
- be the subject of an application containing a balanced budget, i.e. one in which expenditure equals receipts, and adhere to the ceiling for co-financing by the European Union, set at 50% of the total eligible budget.

Awarding of a grant is not only dependent on the examination of the eligibility and exclusion criteria and the operational and financial capacity of the organisation(s).

The final selection decision will be determined in particular on the basis of the award criteria. The award criteria comprise qualitative and quantitative indicators and you can read more about them in the Programme Guide.


These countries have participated in the special action so far:

2007: China and India

2008: Brazil

2009: Countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy: Armenia, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Jordan, Moldova, occupied Palestinian Territory and Tunisia.

2010: Countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Jordan, Moldova, occupied Palestinian Territory, Tunisia and Ukraine.

These countries will participate in the future:

2011: United States of Mexico

2012: Republic of South Africa

2013: Australia and Canada

Looking for projects funded under the special action?  Please use this link for more information