EU Funding

The European Union is the largest international development donor in the world.

Many organisations receive substantial amounts of funding from the EU, but the process can be complex and the practicalities often mean that smaller NGOs find it difficult to access EU funding.

Dóchas can assist member organisations with advice about the EU, and we work with other members of CONCORD to advocate for mechanisms that make EU funding more responsive to the needs and rights of poor communities around the world.

Dóchas Members' Access to EU Funding

Recently Dóchas commissioned a report: ‘Dóchas Members’ Access to EU Funding’ which was produced by Development Consultant, Peter Barnard, following research undertaken in December 2015. This report provides an analysis of trends in members’ access to EU funding since 2005 as well as challenges and barriers encountered in accessing EU funds. Dóchas also seeks to provide members with an overview of potential opportunities and upcoming grant rounds as well as recommendations on how the Association can further support members in accessing EU funding. 

A brief guide to funding from the EU

EU Funding Programme Graphic

For the period 2014-2020, the EU has seven “instruments” (funding areas for which it has the legal mandate) covering external cooperation and external aid. Some of these are Thematic instruments, and others are focused on a specific region or group of countries.

Geographic programmes:

  • Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) – Geographic. The Instrument for Development Cooperation (DCI) covers cooperation with countries and regions outside the ACP area (ie. Latin America, Asia, Central Asia, the Middle-East and South Africa).

  • European Development Fund (EDF).  The European Development Fund provides aid for 79 countries in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific regions (ACP countries) covered under the Cotonou Agreement, as well as the overseas territories of EU Member States. EDF funds are disbursed in agreement between the EU and the ACP country, and most funds are reserved for national level programmes. However, NGOs can take part in these programmes, through the national government or the EU Delegation in the ACP country.

  • Pre-accession Assistance Instrument (IPA).  The IPA provides assistance to countries eligible to become members of the European Union.

  • European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). This funding instrument covers countries in the “European Neighbourhood Policy” (ENP) – countries in the South Mediterranean countries and Eastern Europe. (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine. NB: Not Russia is covered by a separate cooperation framework).

Thematic programmes:

This budget includes a fund for development education and awareness-raising.

For more information on these and other budget lines, please contact the Dóchas office.