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For the period 2014-20, EUR 2.76 billion was originally made available for ISFB funding actions, of which EUR 264 million through grants and other direct actions.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. Horizon Europe

  • What? The future EU research and innovation programme
  • When? 2021-2027
  • Timeline: At the moment the Council and European Parliament are negotiating and subsequently adopting the programme. On 1 January 2021 Horizon Europe will be launched
  • Available budget: €100 billion
  • More information: here

Relevance for crime prevention activities:
The new programme will be implemented through three pillars:
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Pillar 2 Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness (€52.7 billion) includes six broad thematic “clusters” of activities. Cluster 3 focuses on civil security for society. This cluster has as its vision to support wider EU responses to security challenges i.e. to support ‘a resilient and more stable Europe that protects’ as well as for this purpose supporting a competitive European civil security industry sector. It will address the challenges arising from persistent security threats like terrorism and crime, including cybercrime, as well as natural and man-made disasters.

EU policy objectives
As regards protection and security, R&I activities will support implementation of relevant EU policies including those developed under the framework of the European Agenda on Security and the development of a Security Union. These include policies on integrated border management, the EU Action Plan on the protection of public spaces, policies and instruments on protecting critical infrastructure, as well as on fighting crime, including cybercrime and terrorism.
Cybersecurity, as addressed by the digital and privacy policy of the Union, in particular the NIS Directive, the GDPR, the EU Cybersecurity Act, and the future e-Privacy Regulation will benefit from R&I activities so as to keep up with rapid technological developments and the understanding of emerging trends in the cyber-domain. As an overarching priority, effective support will be provided to practitioners, law enforcement agencies, first responders and other public authorities or private entities which are ensuring the security of European citizens, infrastructures and assets in general.

Targeted impacts
The main impacts sought are to support implementation of EU policy priorities relating to security, including cybersecurity, and disaster risk management

  • improved disaster risk management and societal resilience, leading to reduced losses from man-made and natural disasters;
  • improved management of air, land and sea EU external borders, leading to better monitoring of movements across external borders and reduction of illegal movements of people and goods across those borders;
  • better protection of citizens from violent attacks in public spaces, through more effective prevention, preparedness and response while preserving the open nature of such spaces;
  • improved security and resilience of infrastructure and vital societal functions, so as to minimise disruptions improved maritime security, including from man-made and natural disasters and from security challenges such as trafficking, piracy and potential terrorist attacks;
  • cyber and hybrid threats, notably through better maritime surveillance and capability development;
  • fighting crime and terrorism more effectively, particularly through better prevention of criminal acts and enhanced investigation capabilities notably as concerns cybercrime;
  • cybersecurity and a secure online environment, with citizens, public bodies and companies empowered to protect their data and online activities.

4. Drug Policy Initiatives

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

  • Justice programme
  • ISF
  • Health Programme

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.