6.3.9. Co-financing

As a general rule, a grant may not finance the entire cost of the action or the entire operating expenditure of a beneficiary, with the following exceptions.

Full Financing

The contracting authority must be in a position to show that financing in full is essential to carry out the action in question and must substantiate its award decision accordingly. Under indirect management, the contracting authority must inform the European Commission in the evaluation report about the decision to authorise full financing (event to be reported).

For instance, the financing of an action in full may be authorised in the following cases, save where prohibited by the basic act:

  • Humanitarian aid, including assistance for refugees, uprooted persons, rehabilitation and mine clearance;

  • Aid in crisis situations;

  • Action to protect health or the fundamental rights of people;

  • Action resulting from the implementation of financing agreements or action with international organisations.

  • Where it is in the interests of the Union to be the sole donor to an action, and in particular to ensure visibility of a Union action. Grounds must be provided for in the European Commission's financing decision.

The co-financing may take the form of the beneficiary's own resources (self-financing), income generated by the action and financial or in-kind contributions from third parties.

The contracting authority may accept contributions in-kind as co-financing, if considered necessary or appropriate. Co-financing in kind means the provision of goods or services to the grant beneficiary free of charge by a third party. Therefore, contributions in kind do not involve any expenditure for the grant beneficiary14. For the purpose of the no-profit rule (see section 6.3.10.) in kind contributions are not taken into account.

If contributions in kind are accepted as co-financing, the beneficiary(ies) shall ensure they comply with national tax and social security rules.

The beneficiary has to declare the co-financing actually provided in the final report. The beneficiary(ies) may at that point replace any planned contribution from its own resources by financial contributions from third parties.

For low value grants (i.e. any grant up to EUR 60.000) refusal of co-financing in kind - if proposed but not considered appropriate or necessary - should be clearly justified.

14Nevertheless, actual costs generated by the acceptance, distribution, warehousing etc. of in kind contributions may be eligible for funding if complying with article 14 of the General Conditions.