About Funding

About Funding

The EU combines different types of support to countries in need. It provides funding in the form of grants to support projects and organisations furthering its development objectives. It also offers public contracts and provides budget and sector support.

Grants and contracts

Grants are direct financial contributions provided to organisations, or to projects carried out by them. Most of the time, the Commission attributes them through calls for proposals.

More information on grants

Contracts are awarded through tendering procedures to purchase services, supplies or works.

Both contracts and grants are awarded for activities contributing to specific development goals.

More information on contracts

Budget support

Budget support is an important tool to finance partner countries’ development strategies. It consists of financial transfers to the national treasuries, and also involves policy dialogue and measures to assess the use made of these funds.

Budget support helps to deliver aid adapted to the needs identified by the countries themselves.

To benefit from budget support, a beneficiary country must demonstrate commitment to the fundamental values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

Budget support policy

Sector support

A large part of the development funding made available by the EU targets specific sectors in partner countries. This so called ‘sector approach’ increases the effectiveness of aid by supporting government-owned strategies.

Sector support gives a boost to sector programmes run by partner governments. The funding can take on the form of sector budget support, grant and contract funding, or ‘common basket funding’ pooling resources from different donors.


  • 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