Toolkit: Marine litter retention, Funding for your project, Applying for EU funding

See also: Motivations for project sponsors | Other funding options

European funds may be provided through either direct grants or indirect grants. Direct grants include programmes that are managed by the European Commission and cover the whole EU. Indirect grants support national and regional objectives are linked to national or regional operational programmes and are managed by ministries or regional agencies. This distinction will affect your choice of funding in many ways: 

Potential EU funds you may wish to consider for your marine litter retention projects are:

When you consider which funding opportunity is the best option for your project, consider the geographical scope of your project. In some funding programmes, transnationality – that is, a project that operates across more than one country – is a requirement. In other programmes only national projects can be funded. If you intend to set up a multi-country project, LIFE or transnational cooperation programmes are appropriate; the EMFF is not. Other elements to consider are the minimum number of beneficiaries, eligible countries, or co-financing rates. 

A table comparing different EU funding options as well as a flow chart to provide some guidance in a simplified format is available for download. Since some of the operational rules for the funding period 2014 to 2020 were not yet finalised at the time of preparing this Toolkit, you should make sure you get the latest available information from the websites listed below and national or regional contact points. 

To help you with your proposal, or to ask questions about the types of project eligible for funding, you can contact your national contact points or the national/regional funding authority:

Guidelines for applying to several funds are available on programme websites:


Identifying EU funding options for your project
Matrix of potential EU funding sources for marine litter projects