Target groups

EU direct funding is open to a wide range of actors. Each fund sets conditions for applicants regarding the range of successful participants, excludes certain target groups or is targeted at a limited number of applicants. Nevertheless, funding is available for all target groups. However, one of the most important criteria for EU direct funding is that, although in principle open to all actors, calls for proposals are often very specific about the type and content of the tenders they invite. Thus, the challenge is to identify the right call for proposals for which the MFOI will provide support and, if requested, to accompany the application process.

EU csillagok

Local governments

In the 2021-2027 EU cycle, the development of cities and towns has been given more emphasis than in previous periods. This is illustrated by the fact that Horizon Europe has dedicated a specific mission to climate-neutral and smart cities. The aim is that by 2030 at least 100 European cities will be climate neutral, i.e. will have adopted technologies in their urban operation, management and development structures that have a virtually zero carbon footprint. In the first implementation phase, from 2021 to 2023, the Commission has allocated €359.3 million to the mission.

The European Urban Initiative also focuses specifically on local government actors and provides a range of opportunities for development. The Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (CERV) also specifically calls for proposals for cooperation between local governments (e.g. Town Twinning, Networks of Towns), while the EIT Urban Mobility also offers opportunities to apply for funding to make local transport more sustainable.

However, local governments can apply not only for the calls for proposals that have been specifically targeted at them, but also for a wide range of other opportunities. They can participate as consortium partners in projects under all three pillars of the Connecting Europe Facility, they can enter into cooperation with companies, and in the case of LIFE tenders, they can also benefit from the involvement of a state/ authority/local government actor.


SMEs and start-ups

Horizon Europe and the Single Market Programme (SMP) are the EU’s two main dedicated instruments to support SMEs, while a number of other funds also provide opportunities to apply. The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) provides a range of funding opportunities specifically for start-ups in areas such as digitalisation, food, greening.

The European Innovation Council (EIC), part of Horizon Europe, supports breakthrough, disruptive innovations with rapid growth potential that are too risky for private investors, with 70% of the budget allocated for SMEs. In addition, the EIC Accelerator programme provides grants and investments to individual SMEs and start-ups (from pre-commercialisation to market take-up and growth). In addition, the European Innovation Ecosystems have been set up for innovative SMEs and start-ups.

KKV-k és start-up-ok

Large companies

Large companies can participate in projects in many different forms, depending on the funds involved. The Connecting Europe Facility, for example, specifically targets large companies, inviting them to submit and implement tenders of a strategic nature. The same applies to the Innovation Fund, which focuses on the practical application of breakthrough technologies. But most of the energy and digitalisation funds offer some form of opportunity for large companies to apply, given their transformation and contribution to the digital and green transition, which has a significant impact on the whole European Union. Horizon Europe’s Pillar 2, which supports research and development, provides opportunities for large companies to host pilot projects for development and thereby promote the use of innovative new technologies.

Universities, research institutes

Universities have a key role and opportunities for direct EU funding. While Erasmus+ is a fund for education, training institutions and activities, almost all funds encourage the participation of higher education institutions or research organisations in consortia. Horizon Europe’s Pillar 2 focuses on research, development and innovation projects, and both universities and research institutions can participate and be strong partners in such project consortia. However, this applies for all funds, as it is a major advantage for the evaluation if a project is supported by a strong academic background and a good research network.

Egyetemek, kutatóintézeteket
Érdekképviseletek, szövetkezetek, kamarák

Representative bodies, cooperatives, chambers

Representative bodies, cooperatives and chambers can have a significant multiplier effect, as recognised by the European Union. For most funds, the latter can apply for support, preferably as part of a consortium in their field of expertise. They may be particularly interested in funds to support communication activities, which offer the opportunity to convey the key message of the European Union in certain areas of expertise through their wide reach.

Civil society

Since the Treaty of Maastricht, the European Union has not only been a community of policy decisions and powers, but has also placed great emphasis on the promotion and perpetuation of European values. In this, it relies on the mediating role of civil society organisations. CERV, whose main objective is to support non-profit organisations to promote common European values, rights and equality, is the depository of this. However, in addition to CERV, several other instruments (Creative Europe, Erasmus+, Horizon Europe) support the involvement of social organisations and the funding of their activities through targeted calls for proposals. In many cases, the funding intensity of social organisations is higher than that of other actors, such as large companies.

Civil szféra