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The difference between a grant and a public contract

The Commission gives an external organisation financial support in the form of a subsidy or a grant because the activities of the organisation contribute to the EU’s policy aims. The beneficiaries of grants are selected via calls for proposals.

In the case of procurement, the Commission will conclude contracts with economic operators to obtain a service or product in return for payment. The operators are selected via calls for tender.

Grants in the area of economic and financial affairs

ECFIN coordinates harmonised business and consumer surveys which are carried out in different economic sectors in the EU Member States and in the candidate countries.

For this activity – known as 'The Joint Harmonised EU Programme of Business and Consumer Surveys' – ECFIN periodically launches calls for proposals to select collaborating partners under the programme. After selection, ECFIN signs grant agreements with a co-financing rate of up to 50%.

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