Accessing the funds

You should apply for regional funding to the authority managing the relevant regional programme. That body will evaluate your project and decide whether to grant funding.
Find your managing authority

  • Organisations that can benefit from regional funding include public bodies, some private sector organisations (especially small businesses), universities, associations, NGOs and voluntary organisations. Foreign firms with a base in the region covered by the relevant operational programme can also apply, provided they meet European public procurement rules.
  • Contact your managing authority for more information on who can apply in your region.
  • Project promoters in countries that are candidates or potential candidates for EU membership should contact the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).
  • In most cases, funding is granted to projects, so you need to develop a project to be eligible for funding, which you will then receive at different stages of the process.
  • Before applying for a grant, you should check the European operational programmes in your region. Your project application must meet the selection criteria and investment priorities of your regional programme.
  • You will have to follow the application procedures of the relevant managing authority. Some have an ongoing procedure, others accept applications at certain times only. See the website of your managing authority for details.

There is no minimum size for projects. What counts is their European added value, their impact on employment, their innovative nature and whether they contribute to your region's economic competitiveness.

  • Beneficiaries of European grants often point out that the time spent putting together an application for regional financing is more than compensated for by the longer-term benefits.
  • Although the funds finance only part of a project, they create an important leverage effect. Having EU funding in place often encourages other partners to get on board.

This is a non-exhaustive list of the many sources of help and advice on getting EU regional funding

  • The Europe Direct information relays, with hundreds of information points all over Europe
  • Your managing authority can give you advice, through each stage of the project application
  • The European team in your local authority or chamber of commerce
  • The Enterprise Europe Network provides expert advice to small businesses on how to access EU public funds and grants for research and development, innovation, investment, employment and training.
  • The EU provides funding and grants for a broad range of projects and programmes in many policy areas like culture, education, agriculture and rural development, research and the environment.
  • To find out more, see EU grants, funds and programmes
  • EuroAccess : Your gateway to funding in the EU Macro-Regions
  • Guidance for Beneficiaries enpdf
  • To find out more on the Checklist
  • Enabling synergies between European Structural and Investment Funds, Horizon 2020 and other research, innovation and competitiveness-related Union programmes enpdf
  • European Structural and Investment Funds and European Fund for Strategic Investments complementarities: Ensuring coordination, synergies and complementarity enpdf
  • Funding a project with ESI Funds and ESFI : a crash course by Euronews