European Union Grants

The European Commission provides financial support in the form of research/support grants in order to implement projects or activities according to the European Union policies. These grants may be awarded within fields as diverse as research, education, health, consumer protection, protection of the environment, humanitarian aid and more.

Information on a present list of available funding schemes, is provided on this EC website . Here you will find specific information on funding opportunities as well as details on the application process (by clicking on the fields which interest you).

The European Commission provides a list of policy areas in which grants may be awarded (Add Link). For each policy area specific information on the funding modalities, application procedures and the granting process is made available.

Grant beneficiaries are public and private organisations, -recommended to the European Commission for their capacity to implement the projects concerned. The selection of beneficiaries is set on a competitive, peer-review based process, following clear criteria, described in the specific call documents.

Since grants cover a very diverse range of themes and topics, the specific conditions that need to be fulfilled vary from each other. It is therefore important to consult carefully the rules of each funding programme and the funding schemes therein. However, some basic principles apply in every case.


Grants are a form of complementary financing. They cannot be awarded retroactively for actions that are have already started or are completed. In addition, only one grant may be awarded for the same action.

Grants are not awarded on a case-by-case basis. Instead, they are subject to calls for proposals, published based on annual programming. Before 31 March each year, those Departments of the Euopean Commission that manage grant programmes publish their annual work programme on their Internet site. The work programme sets the frame for the broad outlines of the grants that are envisaged over the year (area of activity, objectives, timetable, available budget, award conditions, etc.). By consulting these work programmes you may thus already identify the fields which interest you.

Subsequently, the Commission’s Departments publish calls for proposals on their Internet sites; the calls for proposals invite candidates to present, within a given timeframe, a proposal for action which fulfils the required conditions and that corresponds to the objectives pursued. These calls for proposals can also be published in the Official Journal of the European Union – C series.

All applications are examined and evaluated on the basis of criteria that have clearly been announced in the calls for proposals, while ensuring equal treatment; applicants (institutions) are individually informed of the final decision concerning their proposal.

Some grants are exceptionally awarded directly to certain beneficiaries without a call for proposals. This may be due to their specific competences or characteristics which means that they are the sole beneficiaries for certain actions (situations of monopoly), or to the emergency nature of the action (humanitarian aid in particular).

As grants are made with public money, the European Commission applies the principle of transparency. Thus, by 30 June of each year, the Commission Departments publish the list of the grants that they awarded during the previous year on their Internet sites, with the exception of those awarded in the form of scholarships to individuals.