Funding instruments & programming

Funding instruments & programming

Funding Instruments are the legal basis of geographic and thematic programmes. Thematic and geographic instruments define the legal framework and the scope of programmes and specify which actors and which areas are eligible for funding.

Within these funding instruments, the EU’s development assistance is distributed through multi-annual programmes. Programmes can target individual countries or sectors, as well as regions.

The EU’s thematic programmes encourage the participation of civil society organisations and local authorities in development cooperation.

More on programming of development aid.

Annual Action Programmes are financing decisions, allocating funds to regional, country-based external or thematic cooperation programmes.

Annual Work Programmes identify the grants that are planned to be awarded during the year, notably through calls for proposals.


  • 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