EU funding programs

Crime prevention projects can obtain funding from a number of EU financial instruments. Below we give you an overview of the most relevant funds. A complete guide to EU funding can be found here.


Home affairs and migration


The current Home Affairs financial instruments include two Funds: Internal Security Fund (ISF) and Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). The budget is implemented in three different ways: direct, shared and indirect management:

  • direct (Commission, Union delegations, Executive Agencies)
  • indirect with third countries, international organizations and their agencies,…
  • shared (with the Member States actually distributing funds and managing expenditure)

With regard to the shared management, you can find information about national bodies responsible for the implementation of DG HOME related funding here, by clicking on the relevant Member State.

1. Internal Security Fund

1.1. Borders and Visa

The Internal Security Fund - Borders and Visa (ISFB) is a component of the Internal Security Fund. It promotes the implementation of the Internal Security Strategy, law enforcement cooperation and management of the Union's external borders. It focuses on two objectives:

  • Visa: process effectively Schengen visas by supporting a common visa policy, providing a high quality of service to visa applicants, ensuring equal treatment of non-EU nationals and tackling irregular migration;
  • Borders: achieve a high level of control of the external borders by supporting integrated borders management, harmonising border management measures within the Union and sharing information among EU States and with Frontex, to halt irregular migration and ensure the smooth crossing of the external borders.

For the period 2014-20, EUR 2.76 billion was originally made available for ISFB funding actions, of which EUR 264 million through grants and other direct actions. In response to the migration crisis, the overall ISFB allocation has been increased.

1.2. Police

The Internal Security Fund - Police (ISFP) is a component of the Internal Security Fund. It contributes to ensuring a high level of security in the EU and focuses on two objectives:

  • Fight against crime: combating cross-border, serious and organised crime including terrorism, and reinforcing cooperation between EU national law enforcement authorities, relevant EU bodies, such as, EUROPOL, and non-EU and international organisations;
  • Enhance the EU capacity to manage effectively security-related risk and crisis, and protect people and critical infrastructures against terrorist attacks and other security incidents.

For the period 2014-20, EUR 342 million is available for ISFP funding actions via grants and other direct actions.

2. Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF)

The Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) contributes to the efficient management of migration flows and development and implementation of the common asylum and immigration policy. It focuses on four objectives:

  • strengthen and develop all aspects of the Common European Asylum System;
  • support legal migration to the Member States in accordance with their economic and social needs and to promote the effective integration of non-EU nationals;
  • enhance fair and effective return strategies in the Member States which contribute to combatting illegal immigration, with an emphasis on sustainability of return and effective readmission in the countries of origin and transit;
  • enhance solidarity and responsibility-sharing between the Member States, in particular towards those most affected by migration and asylum flows.

For the period 2014-20, EUR 3.1 billion was originally made available for AMIF funding actions, of which EUR 385 million through grants and other direct actions(Union actions, Emergency assistance and the European Migration Network). In response to the migration crisis, the overall AMIF allocation has been increased.


Other funding instruments


3. Security research – Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

The EU has identified seven priority challenges where targeted investment in research and innovation can have a real impact benefitting the citizen. One of these priorities is ‘Secure societies – protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens’; today, keeping citizens safe means fighting crime and terrorism, protecting communities from natural and man-made disasters, thwarting cyber-attacks and guarding against illegal trafficking in people, drugs and counterfeit goods. EU research and innovation is developing new technologies to protect our societies, while respecting privacy and upholding fundamental rights – two core values at the heart of EU security research. These technologies have a significant potential to stimulate economic activity through new products and services and create jobs.

An amount of €1.695 billion is available for this priority.

4. Drug Policy Initiatives

Drug Policy Initiatives can be funded through four EU financial programs:

  • Justice programme
  • ISF
  • Health Programme
  • Horizon 2020

5. Hercule III Programme

The Hercule III Programme provides financial support to national and regional administrations in the Member States as well as research and educational institutes that undertake activities aimed at the protection of the financial interests of the European Union.

For the years 2014-2020, an amount of EUR 104.9 million is available for grants and other support.

6. Justice programme

Justice Programme offers concrete financial support to various organisations specialised thematically in the area of justice. It focuses on the following key areas:

  • judicial cooperation in civil matters, including civil and commercial matters, insolvencies, family matters and successions, etc.
  • judicial cooperation in criminal matters
  • judicial training, including language training on legal terminology, with a view to fostering a common legal and judicial culture
  • effective access to justice in Europe, including rights of victims of crime and procedural rights in criminal proceedings
  • initiatives in the field of drugs policy (judicial cooperation and crime prevention aspects)

The budget for the programme is EUR 378 million over the period 2014-2020.

7. Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme

The Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme 2014-2020 defends the rights and freedoms that people are entitled to under EU law. It aims to:

  • promote non-discrimination
  • combat racism, xenophobia, homophobia and other forms of intolerance
  • promote gender equality and gender mainstreaming
  • prevent violence against children, young people, women and other groups at risk
  • promote the rights of the child
  • ensure the protection of personal data in the EU
  • promote EU citizenship rights
  • enforce consumer rights

The budget for the programme is EUR 439.5 million over the period 2014-2020.