How to use European funding

European funding

The European Union provides funding for a wide range of projects and programmes including

  • urban and regional development
  • employment and social inclusion
  • agriculture and rural development
  • maritime affairs and fisheries
  • research and innovation;
  • humanitarian aid.

This article aims to inform project leaders about European funding opportunities. 

Funding according to the type of organisation

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General information on European funding

Management of European funds

EU funds are managed according to strict rules to ensure strict control over their use and that they are spent in a transparent and accountable way.

The European Commission is ultimately responsible for the proper use of these funds. However, as most of the funds are managed by national authorities, it is the Member States that are responsible for carrying out the annual controls and audits.

The funding is managed through a system of shared management covering mainly five main funds:

  • The Structural and Investment Funds. These funds help implement the European Commission’s priorities for 2019-2024.
  • The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF): regional and urban development
    European Social Fund (ESF): social inclusion and good governance
  • Cohesion funds (CF): economic convergence of less developed regions
    European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)
  • European Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Fund (EMAF);
  • The Just Transition funds.

Other funds are managed directly by the EU. They are awarded in the form of grants to specific projects related to EU policies, usually following a public announcement (“call for proposals”).