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Funding - loans and grants from the European Union

The EU provides funding in the form of loans and grants for a broad range of projects and programmes covering areas such as education, health, consumer protection, environmental protection and humanitarian aid. Funding is managed according to strict rules which help to ensure that there is tight control over how funds are used and that funds are spent in a transparent and accountable manner. EU funding is complex, since there are many different types of programmes managed by different bodies. Over 76 per cent of the EU budget is managed by the Member States. This includes the structural funds - which finance regional policy, social and training programmes, as well as agriculture (including support for farmers).

Two main types of funding

Grants for specific projects, usually following a public announcement known as a 'call for proposals'. Part of the funding comes from the EU, part from other sources.

Public contracts to buy services, goods or works to ensure the operations of EU institutions or programmes. Contracts are awarded through calls for tenders (public procurement) and cover a range of areas: studies, technical assistance and training; consultancy, conference organisation, IT equipment purchases, etc.

As a group, the 28 EU Commissioners have the ultimate political responsibility for ensuring that EU funds are spent properly. But because most EU funding is managed at country level, national governments are responsible for conducting checks and annual audits.


Small businesses

Can obtain EU funding through grants, loans and guarantees. Grants provide direct support, while other funding is available through programmes managed at national level.

EU funding opportunities for small businesses

Non governmental & civil society organisations

May be eligible for funding, provided they are active in EU policy areas on a non profit basis.

EU funding opportunities for NGOs by policy area

Young people

Two main types of funding:

  • Lifelong Learning Programme - study opportunities through Erasmus, support for school goers nearing the end of secondary education, and vocational training in another country
  • Youth in Action Programme - co funding of projects which encourage civic involvement, volunteer work and a broader multicultural outlook.

Lifelong Learning Programme - funding for education and training
Get involved in the Youth in Action Programme


Over €53 billion has been made available between 2007 and 2013 for research, mainly through the seventh framework programme (FP7). Grants are available in the form of co financing for research related to cooperation, ideas, people, capacities & nuclear research.

EU funding opportunities for research & innovation


Most farmers in the EU are eligible to receive direct payments to support their income. Farmers must respect standards related to environmental protection, animal welfare and food safety.

Most support is not linked to production. But under certain conditions, EU countries may give less money and instead provide support linked to production.

National rural development programmes - contact details by country

Transport and travel

Grants and loans from the European Union in the field of transport and travel - Shifting freight from roads - Tourism Trans-European networks - Transport


Other grants and loans from the European Union - Communication - Multilingualism - Interpretation - Statistics

Science and technology

EU loans and grants in the field of science and technology - Audiovisual and Media - Information Society - Research

Regions and local development

EU grants and loans in the field of regions and local development - Disaster assistance - Regional Development Fund - Regional policy

Justice, home affairs and citizens' rights

EU grants and loans in the field of Justice, home affairs and citizens' rights - Citizenship - Immigration - Justice - Security and Fundamental Rights

External relations and foreign affairs

EU grants and loans for external relations and foreign affairs

Environment, consumers and health

EU grants and loans for Environment, consumers and health - Consumers - Environment - Health - Maritime policy - Sustainable development

Funding from the European Union for energy and natural resources

EU funding for employment and social rights

Employment and social rights - loans and grants from the European Union

EU loans and grants - economy, finance and tax

Economy, finance and tax - EU grants and funds - Competition, economy, Fight against fraud and Financial services

Culture, education and youth

Culture, education and youth EU grants and funds: Audiovisual and media - Culture Education and training - Interpretation - Sport - Youth

Latest EU funding

Latest EU funding and grants


Grants and tenders from the European Union for business

Agriculture, fisheries and foods

EU funding for Animal welfare - Aquaculture - CAP - CFP - Plant health - Rural development

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