European funding normally is administered through one of three mechanisms: direct, shared, or indirect management:
- Under direct management, funds are administered directly by the European Commission, which remains responsible for making decisions about which applicants receive funding as well as the final transfer of funds. Funding is awarded and administered by the EC’s Directorate Generals, executive agencies, services and joint centres
- Under indirect management, funding is administered by various EU institutions, agencies, and other external bodies.
- Under shared management, the Commission remains responsible for the budget, but allocating and administering of funds is the responsibility of national governments. Around 80% of the EU budget is administered in this way. (Mainly direct Common Agriculture Policy payments to farmers and European Regional Development Funds financing large infrastructure projects)
H2020 and research & development programmes are funded primarily under the indirect management model administered by the Research Executive Agency and European Research Council amongst them being the most prominent bodies. In the last few months what has fallen under the radar at EU and national level is that programmes under indirect management such as the Internal Security Fund – Police, 3rd Health Programme, and Research Fund for Coal and Steel among many others are now all coming under the H2020 participant portal and reporting model.