PILOT PROJECT: REMOVAL OF MARINE LITTER FROM EUROPE'S FOUR REGIONAL SEAS
Toolkit: Derelict Fishing Gear Retrieval, Funding for your project, Applying for EU fundingSee also: Motivations for project sponsors
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 and are linked to national or regional programmes (often called ‘operational programmes’). They are managed by ministries or regional agencies. This distinction will affect your choice of funding in many ways:
- In terms of objectives, you may wish to adapt your project according to the priorities of the national/regional funding programme.
- In terms of competition, if you apply for a direct grant, you will be competing with organisations in the whole EU. If you apply for an indirect grant, the competing organisations will come from your Member State. You might decide to present a joint project with some of these ‘competing’ organisations in case of similar or complementary project objectives.
- In terms of language, if you apply directly to your ministry or agency you will write your proposal in your national language. If you apply for a direct grant, you can write your proposal in any EU official language, but English is strongly recommended.
Potential EU funds you can consider for your marine litter retention projects are:
- Direct grants: LIFE; Horizon 2020 (as a part of a broader research and innovation project).
- Indirect grants: European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF); Transnational cooperation programmes (such as the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020, of which ’clear waters’ is one of the objectives, to which a project on DFG, one of the main, plastic marine litter items, can contribute funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
- Other grant programmes: EEA Grants and Norway Grants. An example of a national fund devoted to MSFD implementation is the Spanish Fundación Biodiversidad, which might support DFG projects.
When you consider which funding opportunity is the best option for your project, consider the geographical scope of your project. In some funding programmes, trans-nationality – that is, a project that operates across more than one country – is a requirement. In other programmes only national projects can be funded. For example, if you intend to set up a multi-country project, LIFE or transnational cooperation programmes may be 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 been finalised at the time of preparing this Toolkit, you should make sure you get the latest available information from websites listed below and national or regional contact points.
An important first point of contact is always your national contact points or the national/regional funding authority. They can provide you with more information about projects eligible for funding, and even help you with your proposal. Contacts are available on the internet:
- Life national contact points;
- EMFF national authorities;
- Horizon 2020 national contact points;
- Cohesion policy Funds national managing authorities;
Guidelines for applying to the funds managed directly by the EU are available on programme websites:
Identifying EU funding options for your project
Matrix of potential EU funding sources