Who are the “Donor States” and the “Beneficiary States”?

The states contributing to the budget of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism (EEA Grants) are Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (Donor States). The states benefiting from funding of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism are Portugal, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic (Beneficiary States).

Since the Programme is national, is there a regional breakdown?

No. The goal is to support the best projects in Portugal, whatever the region they come from. However, the Programme aims at ensuring equal access opportunities for all Portuguese NGOs, so it will pay special attention to the most fragile organisations, namely through specific technical assistance.

Is an allocation pre-defined for each call?

Yes. The allocations for each of the Programme calls, by Outcomes (1, 2, 3 and 4) and by project typology (large projects, small projects and, within the outcome 4, institutional projects) are pre-defined. The appropriations are indicated in the call notices, for each call for applications.

Can an application cover more than one outcome?

Yes, but each application must be included in only one outcome – the one the applicant considers most relevant for his / her project. Since each outcome is related to specific quantified outputs and results, the key indicators to which the project shall contribute is also an important element to choose the relevant outcome.

What is the limit for the number of applications and projects?

Each entity can only submit a maximum of one application per year, either as a promoter or partner. If more than one application is submitted by the same entity (with the same tax number) in the same year, all submitted applications are automatically excluded.

What are technical workshops and where are they held?

Yearly, there are workshops organised by the Bissaya Barreto Foundation all over the country to support the preparation of applications and the implementation of projects. Dates and places may be consulted on the Programme website.

What does the Programme consider as an NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation)?

The Portuguese legislation does not define the concept of NGOs, it does so only for a subset within this universe: ONGA (Environmental Non Governmental Organisations), ONGD (Non Governmental Organisations for Development) and ONGPD (Non Governmental Organisations related with People with Disabilities). The Programme adopts the EEA Grant concept of NGO, complemented by the NGO Study carried out in 2014, which covers non-profit private organisations, autonomous from the State, and producing public nature goods and services. Social solidarity institutions, charities and foundations, as well as a large number of associations active in the country, can be considered as NGOs, but mutual benefit entities and most cooperatives are excluded.

Shall the project promoter have public utility status to apply?


Are NGOs for Development eligible?

Yes, provided they comply with all eligibility criteria (Article 7 of the Programme Rules). However, projects carried out outside Portugal are excluded.

Are cooperatives eligible to what range?

Cooperatives are eligible only if, in compliance with all other criteria defined for NGOs by the Programme (Article 7 of the Programme Rules), they pursue objectives of general interest or of common good. Portuguese cooperatives (with the exception of social solidarity) are not eligible because they can distribute surpluses, therefore failing to meet the requirements to be considered NGOs.

Is a for-profit entity eligible to receive funding?

No, it does not meet the eligibility requirements set out in Article 7 of the Programme Rules. The concept of an NGO defined by the Programme states that they are “[…] legal persons governed by private law, not for profit”. Although they cannot receive funding, there is no obstacle for Portuguese profit- based organisations to become project partners.

In a partnership is there a limit to the number of partners financed, in addition to the promoter?

Three partners are for practical administrative reasons the maximum number of funded entities in a project, besides the project promoter.

Can a partnership with a Portuguese public entity be supported?

Yes. Partnerships can be carried out with any public or private entity, whether or not for profit, developing its activity in Portugal, in the Donor States or in the Beneficiary States, as well as with International Organisations. However, only partner entities complying with Article 9 of the Programme Rules are eligible for funding. Consequently, costs incurred by Portuguese public entities are not eligible under the Programme.

Does the Programme support costs incurred in other countries?

The Programme supports projects in mainland Portugal and in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira, and may also support actions that take place in the Donor States or Beneficiary States under the Bilateral Cooperation Initiatives or Regional Civil Society Initiatives, should these actions prove necessary for their success. Also, in the case of partner entities from the Donor Countries, expenses of these entities may be reimbursed.

If an NGO has been established internationally for more than two years, but its activity in Portugal is more recent, can it apply for a grant?

In order to apply for a Large Project, a promoter must be legally established and registered in Portugal for more than two years. However any recent organisation may be a partner or even a promoter of a Small Project. The criterion for eligibility purposes is the date of the NGO registration in Portugal.

Is there a database to help finding partner entities for a project in Portugal?

Yes, a list of Portuguese NGOs is available for consultation in the Programme website.

Does the Programme support applications that have actions already under way?

No. Only expenses incurred and paid after the project approval notification date are eligible. The start and end date of the project are indicated in the grant contract.

Can the wages of the Promoter’s staff be partially allocated to projects?

Yes. The costs of personnel assigned to the project, i.e. the portion of salaries allocated to the project (including costs with social security and other contractual allowances that correspond to the normal conditions of remuneration of the promoters or the partner entities), are eligible.

Does the Programme Rules allow projects to generate revenue?

Yes. This situation shall be indicated in the application form, and the grant is calculated taking into account the estimated value of revenue.

Is VAT considered eligible under the Programme?

If the entity is VAT exempted, then it is an eligible expense. In cases where the VAT is reimbursable, partially or totally, by the promoter or partner, the amount of the recoverable tax is not, of course, eligible.

In terms of evaluation, does one project of national scope prevail over one of local scope?

No. The project is evaluated for its relevance to the objectives of the Programme and its contribution to the relevant outcome, as well as the plausibility of the quantifiable goals it intends to achieve. The fact of being of national, regional or local scope does not have an impact on the evaluation.

If the approved grant is lower than the one requested by the applicant, is it possible to withdraw the application?

As soon as the decision approving the grant is taken, the promoter is notified individually. At this stage, the promoter will have the possibility to accept or not the conditions of the decision, and in case he does not consider the grant sufficient to carry out the project, he may not sign the grant contract, without any negative consequence for future calls.

Updated on 27 may 2022

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