Apart from the UN, with which DG ECHO works under a distinct Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement FAFA DG ECHO also works with other International Organisations under a Framework Partnership Agreement for these organisations.
DG ECHO has Framework Partnership Agreements in force with the following International Organisations in the implementation of humanitarian aid actions:
This FPA stems from the need for adapting DG ECHO's working method with international organisations, in particular with regard to the legal framework of partnership and its conformity with the operational reality. The new Financial Regulation and its implementing rules also stress and recognise the specific character of international organisations and lay down specific rules for their financing.
The recognition of international organisations under international law generally stems from their inter-governmental nature and public service mandate. Thus inter-governmental organisations set up, generally by a treaty, are deemed to possess international legal personality.
The EU's Financial Regulation and its Rules of application recognise the specific character of International Organisations and lay down specific rules for their financing, subject to certain characteristic being fulfilled. These Implementing Rules explain (in Article 43) that the term 'international organisation' shall include:
a) international public sector organisations set up by intergovernmental agreements, and specialised agencies set up by such organisations;
b) the International Committee of the Red Cross (“ICRC”); and
c) the International Federation of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (“IFRC”).
The ICRC and IFRC have a hybrid nature since they were established as private association formed under the Swiss Civil Code hence their existence was never mandated by governments. Nevertheless, by virtue of the above-mentioned provision, for the purposes of the EU's Financial Regulation and all DG ECHO's rules and procedures – the ICRC and IFRC are assimilated to International Organisations since their mission is recognised by the international community of States and is founded on international law, specifically the Geneva Conventions.
On the other hand, other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that are not specially mentioned in the Financial Regulation fall outside its definition of an International Organisation and so are covered by a different FPA
Based on their status as International Organisations - the ICRC, IFRC and IOM are all recognised as having international legal personality or status of its own. Consequently, the provisions of the special framework agreement concluded between DG ECHO and recognised International Organisations acknowledges their internationally recognised characteristics and status.
The provisions of the FPA for International Organisations:
The FPA-IO is a framework agreement which needs to be further implemented through contract templates or contribution-specific agreements. The standard contract templates concluded between DG ECHO and International Organisations include a specific model of agreement and the related general conditions to facilitate the implementation of humanitarian aid actions by International Organisations.
The implementing documents, which form an integral part of the FPA-IO, for use by International Organisations in DG ECHO funded actions are the following
Additionally, annexed to all agreements between ECHO and its Partners (Annex IV) are the Rules and procedures applicable to property, supply, works and service contracts awarded within the framework of humanitarian actions Financed by DG ECHO. The rules and procedures laid out by this document are not, as such, obligatory for International Organisations since Article 6 of the FPA-IO states that the procurement of any goods, works or services by International Organisations in the context of ECHO funded actions shall be carried out in accordance with that organisation's own rules and procedures. Nevertheless International Organisations in receipt EU humanitarian aid funds are expected to observe the mandatory principles of procurement (Chapter 2 of Annex IV) at all times in the implementation of humanitarian aid actions and are entitled to apply the provisions and derogations in the special rules (Chapter 4 of Annex IV - e.g. on urgent actions; the procurement of pharmaceuticals or medical devices, and through HPCs or Framework Contracts) even where such provisions are not included in the International Organisations' own rules.
Information of general relevance to EU funding of International Organisations is available in the Frequently Asked Questions – International Organisations
Furthermore a large number of questions specifically connected to the implementation of humanitarian aid are addressed in ECHO's Frequently Asked Questions.
If you have any remaining questions with regard to the FPA-IO these may be addressed to ECHO-FPA-PARTNERS@EC.EUROPA.EU or contact the Helpdesk
If you represent an International Organisation as defined by the EU's Financial Regulation (above) which works in the field of humanitarian aid and you wish to conclude a Framework Partnership Agreement with DG ECHO please contact DG ECHO's Financial and Legal Affairs Unit (ECHO-FINANCE-LEGAL-AFFAIRS@ec.europa.eu) and you will be guided on the requirements and procedure for the signature of the FPA-IO.