I am Looking for Funding?

The European Commission allocates part of the EU budget to companies and organizations in the form of calls for tender, grants or funds, as well as other financing programmes.

Grants for projects or organizations which further the interests of the EU or contribute to the implementation of an EU Programme or policy are made in the form of direct financial contributions.

The current seven-year finance period runs until 2013, during which some €975 billion is available to finance EU programmes. An EU grant or funding opportunity might be available to you if you are:


If you wish to find out more information click on the option appropriate to you in the above list to find out what EU assistance is available to you.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
Funding is available to SMEs through grants, loans and, in some cases, guarantees. Support is available either directly from the EU or through programmes managed at a national level.

SMEs can also benefit from a series of non-financial assistance measures in the form of programmes and business support services.

SMEs or other organisations (e.g. business associations, business support providers or consultants) can usually apply directly for EU grants.

Direct aid, in the form of structural funds, are available to SMEs to co-finance their investments is only possible in the economically less developed regions.

In other regions, priority has been given to actions having a high leverage effect

(E.g. entrepreneurship training, support services, business incubators, technology transfer mechanisms, networking, etc.), as opposed to direct aid to individual SMEs.

Under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), €1130 million has been allocated for financial instruments for the period 2007- 2013. These are organised under three schemes, managed in cooperation with the European Investment Fund (EIF) and other international financial institutions:

1. The High Growth and Innovative SME Facility (GIF) aims to increase the supply of equity for innovative SMEs

2. The SME Guarantee Facility provides additional guarantees in order to increase the supply of debt finance to SMEs;

3. The Capacity Building Scheme supports financial intermediaries in some Member States.

 How do I Apply?

For EU grants, application procedures are set out in the calls for proposals for specific programmes, and you will apply directly to the European Commission or an executive agency which runs the programme in question.

Programmes funded through structural funds are managed at national or regional level, where the projects are selected.

Financial instruments for SMEs are usually available through financial intermediaries such as banks or credit institutions. Contact your local financial institution for more information.

Where can I find further details?

Enterprise Ireland

The European Portal for Small and Medium Enterprises (with an overview of the main funding opportunities available):

For funding opportunities by policy area see the Commission’s portal on grants available here

The Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly is responsible for funding in the Eastern region of Ireland.

The European Social Fund

Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs)

Non-governmental and civil society organisations are a natural target group eligible for a vast part of EU funding, as they are involved in many areas covered by EU policies on a non-profit basis, a precondition for receiving funding from EU coffers.

Funding is available both under programmes run by national and local authorities which are financed through structural funds, and under Commission-run programmes.

You may submit a proposal for a concrete project under an EU programme which covers your area of activity and, if successful, this particular project will be co-financed by the EU through an action grant.

How do I Apply?

Funds are managed at national or regional level and, as a result, applications are submitted to and evaluated by national or regional authorities;

For EU grants, application procedures are set out in the calls for proposals for specific programmes, and you will apply directly to the European Commission or an executive agency which runs the programme in question.

Where can I find further details?

For further information on funding opportunities by policy area see the Commission’s portal on grants, follow this link: The European Commission: Contracts and Grants

The Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly is responsible for funding in the Eastern region of Ireland.

The European Social Fund

Young People

The European Union funds educational programmes for young people in school and university.

The most well know programme is the Erasmus programme which allows students to go on exchange to another EU country during their studies.

Within the Lifelong Learning Programme, Comenius provides funding opportunities for young people in school education up to the end of upper secondary education, notably through school partnerships across Europe;

Leonardo da Vinci offers opportunities for those in vocational education and training, e.g. through training placements in another country.

The Youth in Action programme co-funds projects which reinforce active civic engagement of young people, voluntary work, mutual understanding and open-minded approach to the world, as well as provide help for youth workers and support youth policy making.

It is open for young people aged 15-28

Examples of activities which may receive funding include youth exchanges; youth initiatives where young people participate directly in activities they have devised themselves; volunteering projects information campaigns for young people.


As a member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, I am often contacted about funding for farming activities.

If you are an EU farmer, you are most likely eligible to receive direct payments, the major form of EU funding in agriculture. The 2003 reform of the Common Agricultural Policy introduced a new system of direct payments, known as the Single Payment Scheme, under which aid is no longer linked to production.

The main aim of the single payment is to support farmers’ incomes in return for them respecting standards of environmental protection, animal welfare, food safety and keeping the land in good condition.

How do I Apply?

Direct payments are administered through paying agencies appointed by national authorities. 

To be eligible for the single payment, a farmer requires payment entitlements and land. Entitlements are calculated on the basis of the payments received by the farmer during a reference period (historical model) or the number of eligible hectares farmed (regional model).

Where can I find further details?

For information on agriculture funding in Ireland the Department of Agriculture’s funding page

Information on EU Agriculture and Rural Development Policy

Funding opportunities are also available here: The European Commission: Contracts and Grants

Public bodies

Public bodies, including local authorities, can benefit from many EU funding opportunities, ranging from investments to develop the institutional capacity and efficiency of public services, to local infrastructure projects. Below are just a few examples of the many options available.

Cohesion policy is where most funding for local infrastructure projects or initiatives to boost employment comes from. This money is available through programmes under structural funds, which are largely managed by national or regional authorities.

Funding from the European Social Fund will be available for national, regional and local administrations to strengthen their institutional capacity and the activities they run, especially in those services which have a direct impact on the labour market (employment services, education and training institutions).

Other EU grants

Centrally managed programmes also provide funding opportunities for public administration, including local authorities. They cover a whole range of EU policy areas, such as: promoting cultural activities (Culture 2007), employment and social solidarity (Progress), research (7th Framework Programme) and innovative approach to information technologies in the public sector (ICT Policy Support Programme, which is part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme).

The Europe for Citizens programme offers funding opportunities for town twinning initiatives through financing citizens’ meetings and thematic networking of twinned towns.

How do I Apply?

Projects aiming at increasing public security can be co-financed from EU coffers.

Where can I find further details?

The European Social Fund

Information about financial allocations per region are available here:

For the Eastern region the Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly is responsible:

For funding opportunities by policy area see the Commission’s portal on grants here:

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund

A Member State faced with sudden redundancies caused by changing global trade patterns may request support to help workers who have been made redundant reintegrate into the labour market.

Governments will be able to fund activities such as job search assistance, personalised retraining, promoting entrepreneurship, as well as temporary ‘inwork supplements’ such as allowances for those participating in training or for workers over 50.

These funds are available to individual workers (not companies) only through national authorities, not through regions or local authorities.

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund

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