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European Commission




The Communication and Visibility Manual (2021) complements existing general guidelines but with a focus on communication on EU humanitarian aid. It does not replace the general guidelines, nor does it alter them. The EC-UN guidelines remain applicable for UN humanitarian partners when working with ECHO. In case of direct contradiction with this Manual, the EC-UN guidelines take priority. The same applies to the 2018 EU External Actions manual. 

Yes. The requirements of standard visibility – namely the display of the humanitarian aid visual identity on project sites and the written and oral acknowledgement of the partnership – are mandatory and apply to all Partners and types of Actions.

Partners are generally encouraged to consider the implementation of above standard visibility (notably more elaborate communication actions targeting European audiences). However, such Actions – for which additional budget can be allocated after ECHO’s approval of a communication plan (the standard template can be found here ) – come on top of standard visibility.

Yes, in most cases there will be plenty of possibilities to comply with the visibility requirements even if display of the visual identity on the project site is not possible for security reasons. While standard visibility is a contractual obligation, there is an important degree of flexibility on how to implement it.

Standard visibility covers the display of the visual identity as well as the written and oral acknowledgement of the partnership. Therefore, Partners should consider to do e.g. more web or social media activities or consider producing audio-visual material addressing European audiences (the latter this may require applying for additional visibility budget “above standard”).

No. The Manual provides general guidance on the implementation of standard visibility, which is a contractual obligation in all EU-funded humanitarian projects. The concrete application depends on and may be adapted to the specific circumstances of the individual project. For each Action, the Partner must choose those measures which are considered to ensure visibility for the EU in the most effective way. The planned activities should be described as precisely as possible at the proposal stage. For more information, please consult this page.

Partners have a contractual obligation to perform standard visibility activities, namely:
Compulsory displayof EU Himanitarian Aid visual identity on: building signage, equipement, shipments and goods for distribution as part of the humanitarian response, branding of the operational materials/outreach materials addressing beneficiaries, clothing items worn by project staff. 

As regards “above-standard visibility”, ECHO generally invites Partners to consider undertaking more elaborate communication actions with the view of more effectively reaching European audiences. In case your organisation plans to perform such additional communication activities a detailed communication plan must be submitted and approved by ECHO as part of the proposal.

Note that “above-standard” comes on top of standard visibility measures, which must be undertaken in all projects.

Yes, the Commission has the right to use the Partners’ materials, documents and  information royalty-free, including the use for its own purposes, distribution to the  public, editing or redrafting and translation.