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European Commission




The MGA is a corporate template adopted at the Commission level, which has to be used by all its services and executive agencies who award EU grants. With the MGA, all beneficiaries of EU grants are bound by the same contractual rules.

No. For every action, a grant agreement of around 80 pages will be signed. 

A data sheet providing info such as title of the action, duration, starting date, EU contribution, funding rate, payments, reporting, etc. then, 44 articles (formerly the general conditions) divided in 6 chapters and 5 Annexes. 

Yes, some terms are new. Partners are now called beneficiaries. Implementing partners are recipients of financial support to third parties. The Commission is called the Granting
Authority. Beneficiaries are called final beneficiaries or persons in need. The Single Form is called Annex 1 – description of the action. The Interim report fits now into continuous
reporting. The Final report is called Periodic final report. Procurement is called subcontracting/purchases. 

It is indeed a mistake already solved. The people authorised are those who have access rights to the system APPEL.

Annex 2 is the estimated budget to be presented at proposal stage. Annex 4 corresponds to the final costs statement to be submitted at the final report stage together with the general ledger. Both Annexes follow the same structure in terms of cost categories.

Yes. In June 2021 the Commission will publish an AGA (annotated grant agreement) common to all Directorate Generals and programmes. DG ECHO will publish specific
guidance on annex 5. 

Annex 5 to the grant agreement contains DG ECHO specific rules, such as rules on multipurpose cash transfers, transfer of assets or the possibility to derogate from some provisions of the grant agreement.

No, it is not necessary anymore. This will be reflected in the instructions contained in the cover letter sent together with the grant agreement. 

A hard copy of the grant agreement always needs to be sent to DG ECHO when it has been hand-signed. Instead, in case the Partner has the possibility to use QES, it must be sent only via email to the following email address: .


Co-beneficiaries accede to the grant only by signing the accession form (Annex 3 to the MGA). Only the coordinator signs the grant agreement.

If the Partner cannot sign the grant agreement using QES, it has to send back to DG ECHO one handwritten signed original by courier. Basic electronic signature is not accepted.

The Commission will sign using qualified electronic signature (QES) in agreements with NGOs. The partners can counter-sign agreements and amendments either with QES or
with hand signature. 

Certified NGOs can be referred to as DG ECHO certified partners.

Yes, there is no change in this respect.

It is a grant agreement to which several DG ECHO certified partners and/or international organisations are members. All together they form a consortium.

Only the coordinator (leader) of the consortium signs the grant agreement. The rest of beneficiaries have 30 days as of the entry into force of the agreement to date and sign a pre-filled form called Accession Form, received by the coordinator together with the grant agreement. Once the forms are gathered by the coordinator, they are sent to the Commission. Detailed instructions will be given in the cover letter sent with the grant agreement.

Annex 3 needs to be signed by Certified ECHO Partners participating in the implementation of the action, who are not the coordinator of the consortium. The accession form needs to be signed within 30 days after the entry into force of the agreement. (See art. 40 MGA) To be noted that, new beneficiaries can be added also during the implementation of the action through a Modification Request and using the appropriate form published on DG-ECHO Partners’ website. 

It is a grant agreement to which several DG ECHO certified partners and/or international organisations are members. All together they form a consortium.


Yes, DG ECHO’s decision on staff costs is retroactive to 1st of January 2021. In order to reflect this in the ongoing actions, no modification request is needed. The information on staff costs can be provided at final report stage by filling in the correct column of Annex 4 to the MGA.