About Grants

About Grants

A Grant or Call for proposals is a public invitation by the Contracting Authority, addressed to clearly identified categories of applicants, to propose operations within the framework of a specific EU programme.

Grants are direct financial contributions from the EU budget or from the European Development Fund. They are awarded as donations to third parties that are engaged in external aid activities. The Contracting Authority awards grants that are used to implement projects or activities that relate to the EU’s external aid programmes.

Grants fall into two categories:

  • Grants for actions: aim to achieve an objective that forms part of an external aid programme.
  • Operating grants: finance the operating expenditure of an EU body that is pursuing an aim of general European interest or an objective that forms part of an EU policy.

Grants are based on the reimbursement of the eligible costs, in other words, costs effectively incurred by the beneficiaries that are deemed necessary for carrying out the activities in question. The results of the action remain the property of the beneficiaries.

Grants are subject to a written agreement signed by the two parties and, as a general rule, require co-financing by the grant beneficiary. Since grants cover a very diverse range of fields, the specific conditions that need to be fulfilled may vary from one area of activity to another.


Learn more about grants, grant applications, project proposals, eligible costs, project phases and project evaluations.

See the latest calls for proposals.

To help candidates submit applications for call for proposals, EuropeAid has developed a new IT tool (PROSPECT).

See how to apply.




  • The Practical Guide explains contracting procedures for EU external aid contracts financed by the EU general budget (Budget) and the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).

    Consult PRAG

  • E-learning course on the Practical Guide. Do you want to know more about EU external action procedures? See our self-learning distance course on contractual procedures.

    e-Learning PRAG

  • e-Calls PROSPECT is the electronic system developed by EuropeAid to facilitate the submission of applications for call for proposals.

    e-Calls PROSPECT

  • Potential Applicant Data Online Registration database contains information on organisations applying for European Commission grants in the field of external assistance.

    e-Calls PADOR

  • Delegated Cooperation, Cooperation with partner countries and with international organisations, Co-financing and Management Modes.

    Consult DEVCO-Companion