FAQ & Links


Since the Programme has national scope, will there be a regional breakdown?
No. The objective is to support the best projects, irrespective of the region where they come from. The Programme does however have a concern for ensuring equal access opportunities, so it will be mindful of the limitations of weaker NGOs.

Will EEA support be streamlined?
The rules guiding EEA support have specificities compared to the EU funds, seeking simplification but without compromising the same guiding principles. The software tools being produced for the Programme will help NGOs not only in submitting applications, but also in the project implementation phase, within a framework of strong dematerialization.

How can Civil Society participate in other EEA Grants Programmes? Is there room for the submission of applications by NGOs?
In some of these Programmes, NGOs will be eligible, along with other entities, but other EEA Grants Programmes are not oriented towards NGOs. These Programmes aim to achieve their own objectives, which in some cases can be achieved through projects implemented by NGOs.

The EEA Grants and Council of Europe encouraged the creation of international partnerships – is this possible within the Programme?
The Programme aims to promote national and international partnerships (both with Donor and Beneficiary countries).

Can there be more than one application?
The limit for supported projects is six per entity, an application per field of intervention and year throughout the Programme. As an entity, we refer to both promoter and partner. For Bilateral Cooperation Initiatives, each entity may have two supported applications throughout the Programme.

Given the amount reserved for the NGO Programme, which is not much, and the number of NGOs in the country, would it not be better to support only one project per promoter?
The purpose of the Programme is not to apportion Donor Countries funds among NGOs in Portugal but rather to select the best projects to achieve its designated goals. A balance had to be found between avoiding a concentration of approved projects and funding on a limited number of well capacitated NGOs, and the need to support good projects. The limitation to a total of seven applications to submit and six projects to support was the adopted solution.

Given the limited funds available under the Programme, how will it be able to cope with the large number of applications that can be expected?
Under the Programme, a large number of applications are in fact expected, and only the best will be supported. The funds are limited and must be managed as to ensure the most efficient use of resources.

Can an association with less than three years apply?
Yes. Only for large projects is there a limitation in this regard, and for those, the promoter NGO must be established for at least 1 year before the date of application.

How does one do when lacking a document (e.g. NGO statutes)? Can an application, under these circumstances, suffer from "sudden death"?
The call rules were drawn up trying to be flexible. In two months, the few necessary documents should be obtainable. There will be a "friendly touch" in receiving applications, but ensuring strictly equal treatment for all.

Can an embassy be an eligible partner?
It is possible to have an embassy as a partner, provided it is based either in Portugal, or in one of the Donor or Beneficiary countries, and that it is relevant for the application. Naturally, the costs incurred by an embassy are not eligible.

Shouldn’t there be the possibility for partnerships to have more than 3 partners beside the promoter? Is it preferable to partner with Portuguese or Donor Countries’ NGOs?
The three partner limit was chosen for practical management and in order not to dilute support among more than four entities. Even so, the promoter may find it difficult to manage the partnership. The option made allows for more partners than in some of the other Beneficiary countries where NGO Programmes exist. We were careful to consult the NGO Programme rules in other countries before this decision was made regarding our Programme.
By itself, the nationality of the partners will have no impact on the evaluation scores – foreign NGOs can of course have a very positive impact on the Portuguese Civil Society, and applications contributing towards that end will be valued. NGOs from Donor countries can only be supported within the framework of Bilateral Cooperation Initiatives.

Does the Programme support costs incurred in other countries?
The Programme supports projects in Mainland Portugal and the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira, and can also support activities to be carried out in the Donors or Beneficiary countries in the context of Bilateral Cooperation Initiatives, if these actions are necessary to its success. Similarly, when the partnership involves intergovernmental organizations, supported activities may be carried out any State of the European Economic Area.
Furthermore, only eligible costs incurred by entities that meet the eligibility requirements as a promoter may be supported, with the sole exception of projects under Field of Intervention D, where other entities may be eligible. We may also support be the expenses of Donor countries’ partner organizations falling under Bilateral Cooperation Initiatives.
The payment of costs incurred by partner organizations outside of Portugal must be justified by accounting documents certified by a chartered accountant or someone, in the State of origin, who has powers equivalent to that effect.

Is it mandatory to include a foreign NGO when establishing partnerships? Does the CGF support the creation of partnerships?
It is not mandatory that partnerships include foreign NGOs, apart from those under the scope of the call for Bilateral Cooperation Initiatives, where it is indeed necessary. The Foundation hosted a number of Donor countries NGOs on the Programme’s launching event on March 22, 2013, and for those interested, contacts and presentations for these entities are available on the Programme website. Those interested should also visit eeagrants.org and ngonorway.org. Regarding large projects, the Programme Management Unit will encourage partnerships with NGOs from Donor countries during the calls phase.

In terms of duration of projects, is it expected that they are sustainable in time?
The Programme will not support projects already in progress, but will be looking for projects with potential for continuity. The guarantees of future sustainability without EEA support will be one of the factors considered and taken into account in the evaluation.

The existence of partnerships with donor countries is preferred and awarded extra points in the evaluation?
A partnership can enhance the relevance of a project in meeting the selection criteria, and that will be taken into account in the evaluation process. Therefore, a Bilateral Cooperation Initiative application that is complementary to another application under one of the four fields of intervention may improve the chances of success.

In terms of eligibility criteria, is it relevant to have previous experience with EEA support?
No. Previous experience is valued in the selection criteria but not specifically in relation to the use of EEA Funds.

Which is the date of eligibility?
The date of approval of funding is the start date of eligibility or other indicated by the promoter in the project contract.

How will be effected payment of the 10% not reimbursed? Are there limitations to the eligible costs?
There can be no double funding, for example in relation to EU funds. Moreover, up to half of the NGO's share (5%) may be provided in volunteer work.



Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area webpage


Portuguese National Focal Point webpage



Webpage of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, in charge of promoting bilateral cooperation under the EEA Grants in Norway, and NGO Portal, the database managed by this institution for this purpose


Webpage of the Icelandic Human Rights Centre, in charge of promoting bilateral cooperation under the EEA Grants in Iceland



Webpages on the No Hate Speech Movement, by the Council of Europe and the Portuguese National Movement




Updated on 22 march 2021

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