Each call for proposals or tenders has its own criteria, requirements and steps. Your chosen call will guide you through the application process.
After you have determined you are eligible by fulfilling the criteria indicated in the specific call, you might need to register in a specific data base– the call guidelines will specify whether and how you need to do that. You might also want to wish to find a partner.
To prepare and submit your proposal will take a while, so make sure you begin well in advance. All the documents and templates you will need to use will be listed in the guidelines for your chosen call – be sure to follow them closely. If you fail to do so, the contracting authority might disqualify your proposal as inadmissible.
In order to get EU funding, one needs to follow certain rules and procedures. This is inevitable – we need to make sure that every euro is spent in a transparent and correct way, to the benefit of EU citizens. However, the EU is also constantly working to simplify and modernise its budgetary rules and to make sure people can access EU funding to finance their ideas.
To be considered, your application needs to be complete, concise, and submitted on time through the electronic submission system.
EU funded programmes are implemented in one of three ways: direct management, shared management, or indirect management. The application process differs depending on the mode and the programme you are applying for. Learn more about management modes.
The application process has to go through the Funding and Tenders portal of the European Commission. For both grants and tenders, the typical application process includes finding a call for which you are eligible, finding a project partner, creating an account of the Portal, registering your organisation and submitting a proposal.
The Member States’ administrations are in charge of the selection and award procedures, and of the monitoring and management, including payments.
Member States have to comply with the Common Provisions Regulation (CPR), a joint legal framework for eight shared management funds:
- The European Regional Development Fund,
- the Cohesion Fund,
- the European Social Fund Plus,
- the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, and, as new elements compared to 2014-2020:
- the Just Transition Fund,
- the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund,
- the Border Management and Visa Instrument, and
- the Internal Security Fund.
Find more information on the page of regional and national funding authorities for the 2014-2020 EU budget. A webpage with contact points per Member State including funding from the programmes of the 2021-2027 EU budget is under construction.
If you apply for funds under indirect management, the rules are defined by the implementing partner – the contracting authority will set out the application process. Once you identified a call that falls under this kind of management, you should check on the website of that contracting authority the specific requirements for the application process.
Below are the examples of different types of implementing partners:
- Third countries or the bodies they have designated
- International organisations or their agencies, within the meaning of Article 156 of the Financial Regulation (FR), such as:
United Nations (UN) family
the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- Specialised Union bodies:
the European Investment Bank (EIB)
the European Investment Fund (EIF)
- Decentralised agencies
- Public-private partnerships, which are divided in Joint Undertakings and Joint Technology Initatives:
Bio-based Industries initiative
Clean Sky 2
Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership
Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking
Fusion for Energy Joint Undertaking
Initiative on Innovative Medicines
Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking
European and developing countries clinical trials partnership
European Institute of Innovation&Technology
- National agencies, designated by Member States, such as Erasmus+ national agencies.