European Union

Sector: Multi-Sector

Funding Agency:

Country: Europe

Type: Multilateral


Link: Visit

Description: The European External Action Service (EEAS) is the European Union’s diplomatic service. Its role is to make sure the voice of the European Union and its people are heard in the world. A key aspect of the work of the EEAS is its ability to work closely with the foreign and defence ministries of the 28 member states of the EU and the other EU institutions such as the European Commission, Council and Parliament. It also has a strong working relationship with the United Nations and other International Organisations. Following the Treaty of Lisbon, the EEAS is responsible for the running of EU Delegations and Offices around the world. The 139 Delegations play a vital role in representing the EU and its citizens around the globe and building networks and partnerships. The main role is to represent the EU in the country where they are based and to promote the values and interests of the EU. They are responsible for all policy areas of the relationship between the EU and the host country – be they political, economic, trade or on human rights and in building relationships with partners in civil society. In addition they analyse and report on political developments in their host country. They also programme development cooperation through projects and grants. A fundamental aspect of a Delegation is its public diplomatic role which consists in increasing the visibility, awareness and understanding of the EU. Delegations are diplomatic missions and are usually responsible for one country, although some are representatives to several countries. The EU also has Delegations to international organisations like the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation for example. FINANCIAL SUPPORT The EU combines different types of support to countries in need. It provides funding in the form of grants to support projects and organisations furthering its development objectives. It also offers public contracts and provides budget and sector support. Grants are managed by EuropeAid (Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development or DEVCO) or Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG Near). DG DEVCO is responsible for formulating European Union development policy and thematic policies in order to reduce poverty in the world, to ensure sustainable economic, social and environmental development and to promote democracy, the rule of law, good governance and the respect of human rights, notably through external aid. We foster coordination between the European Union and its Member States in the area of development cooperation and ensure the external representation of the European Union in this field. GRANTS AND CONTRACTS Grants are direct financial contributions provided to organisations, or to projects carried out by them. Most of the time, the Commission attributes them through calls for proposals. Contracts are awarded through tendering procedures to purchase services, supplies or works. Both contracts and grants are awarded for activities contributing to specific development goals. BUDGET SUPPORT Budget support is an important tool to finance partner countries’ development strategies. It consists of financial transfers to the national treasuries, and also involves policy dialogue and measures to assess the use made of these funds. Budget support helps to deliver aid adapted to the needs identified by the countries themselves. To benefit from budget support, a beneficiary country must demonstrate commitment to the fundamental values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. SECTOR SUPPORT A large part of the development funding made available by the EU targets specific sectors in partner countries. This so called ‘sector approach’ increases the effectiveness of aid by supporting government-owned strategies. Sector support gives a boost to sector programmes run by partner governments. The funding can take on the form of sector budget support, grant and contract funding, or ‘common basket funding’ pooling resources from different donors. The practical guide is the working tool explaining the procedures applying to external aid financed by the European Commission. It contains a specific section related to grants. For information of the EU policies and priorities in Central Asia is available on Europeaid website.