EU funding programmes
The EU has several different funding programmes that you may be able to apply for, depending on the nature of your business or project. There are two different types: direct funding and indirect funding.
The allocation of direct funding capital is managed by the European Institutions. There are two types of funding available: grants and contracts.
Grants are given to specific projects that relate to EU policies, usually following a public announcement known as a call for proposals.
Who is eligible?
You may apply for a grant if you run a business or a related organisation (business associations, business support providers, consultants, etc.) that runs projects that further the interests of the EU, or if you contribute to the implementation of an EU programme or policy.
You can read about the criteria for eligibility in more detail in the relevant calls for proposals.
Contracts are issued by EU institutions to buy services, goods or works that they need for their operations – such as studies, training, conference organisation or IT equipment. Contracts are awarded through calls for tender.
Indirect funding is managed by national and regional authorities and comprises nearly 80% of the EU budget, mainly through 5 big funds that come under the umbrella of the European Structural and Investment Funds.
The funds are:
- European Regional Development Fund – regional and urban development
- European Social Fund – social inclusion and good governance
- Cohesion Fund – economic convergence by less-developed regions
- European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
- European Maritime and Fisheries Fund
Apply for funding
To access EU grants, you should apply via the relevant regional or national authorities (known as managing authorities) in the member state where you are registered.
The Ministry of Agriculture in your country is responsible for funding for the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
To apply for funding for the European Maritime Fisheries Fund, you should contact the national contact points.
Read more about how EU funding works.
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