New and clearer agreement between IFRC and EUNS’ on EU funding opportunities

Discussions between IFRC and EUNS on who will lead on EU funding opportunities have long been a contagious area. However, after a high level meeting in Geneva between As Sy and the Secretary Generals of Austrian, Spanish, German and Danish RC an agreement has been reached. This agreement we do feel is a major step in not only clarifying the roles and responsibilities, but also it is a good document to have in the field when discussions are ongoing. The final version of the document will be sent to HoR as soon as it is final (8th-9th of May). Below is a short overview of the agreed way forward:


On country specific calls:

  • On all DG ECHO’s country HIPs, EUNSs will be default lead partners, unless the IFRC Secretariat is requested to lead by EUNS.
  • On funding opportunities other than DG ECHO (e.g. DEVCO, NEAR), hosting NS must have the priority when allowed to apply directly to EU, if they have the capacity and willingness to do so.  When hosting national societies are not allowed to apply directly, EUNSs will be leading on country-based calls.  If EUNS are not present in any particular country, IFRC will lead and partner with other NS.


On regional calls:

  • On all regional funding opportunities (DG ECHO, DG NEAR and DG DEVCO), the IFRC Secretariat will sit at the table as an equal partner with EUNSs and be part of the discussions on approach and scope to the regional opportunity (country, thematic or regional approach), as well as being part of the decision on leadership for the opportunity, using the best placed criteria with the aim of not missing opportunities for any country.  This will require flexibility in the way we work, with a clear need for close collaboration and coordination.
  • It was recognised that the IFRC Secretariat, having an international organisation status and thus a different partnership framework agreement with EU, will focus on funding streams reserved for international organisations, to increase the market share of EU funding for the Federation as a whole.
  • Where the IFRC Secretariat may request shared leadership with EUNS to submit applications, IFRC Secretariat and EUNSs will create a platform to help each other as well as the host NS, with the skills and resources required for submitting high quality applications to achieve success.


As it can be seen, it is now very clear that EUNS will always lead on country specific calls, while IFRC also do respect a decision among equal partners on being best placed on regional opportunities. It is clear with this decision agreed, that IFRC will focus on expanding the funding opportunities for the movement and not cannibalising on the opportunities where EUNS’ can apply.

It has been a long process, but we are quite happy with the result. We do hope this will help in the decisions going forward.


For further information, please contact me.

Jakob Harbo