Where to Start

All EU programmes are different. What follows therefore only aims to highlight some general ideas and tips on how to get started.

Most programmes are operated through the use of projects. The EU supports programmes and projects to strengthen development within different sectors in society. Given that the funding is made available at European level, the project needs to have a European dimension – an explicit European purpose which gives the project a European added value. However, the way in which the European dimension is specified varies between the different programmes. Often, the European Commission also requires that the results of the project have relevance even outside the countries included in the project.

EU financing usually covers less than 75% of the total cost of a project. The rest often comes from national funds, private sponsors or even own resources, such as support staff and office resources. This support needs to be documented.

The key providers of information on EU programmes in EFTA States are the contact points in the Member States and the European Commission. These contact points often organise courses and seminars on how to apply and how to manage projects. They often provide potential applicants with programme user guides in the EFTA languages. Potential applicants can also use the EFTA contact points and the regional EU offices in Brussels for information and support on the application process. For the EFTA and EU contact points for the different programmes, please see the contact boxes on the right of the programme pages.