Bridging Call for Preparatory Projects

It has been a practice for the programme to use remaining and de-committed funds towards the end of the programme’s implementation to fund preparatory projects targeting envisaged specific objectives of a future programme.

At the Monitoring Committee (MC) in December 2020, it was decided that a Bridging call for preparatory projects targeting main projects in the NPA 2021-2027 would first be launched after agreement on the themes of the new programme, and the ToRs decided by the MC in June 2021.

A “How to Apply Seminar” has been organised on September 9th, 2021. This seminar will offer technical sessions on the application form, budget and partnership. The seminar will be conducted as a combination of the presentation of factual material and online eMS tutorials. Project clinics will be hosted by Joint Secretariat Desk officers with project applicants. Register here, registration closes on September 7th, 2021.


As with previous bridging calls, the main purpose is to build a project pipeline for future main projects in the forthcoming programme and keep momentum and front-loading the future programme; thus allowing for a strong start. Secondly, to explore in practice the different themes proposed in the new programme which could influence the design of future calls.

The Bridging call will be funded by the NPA 2014-2020 and only actions eligible under the current programme can be funded.

See the Terms of Reference, which outlines the conditions for applying.

Bridging Projects

Bridging projects are preparatory projects funded by the current programme, targeting main projects in the future programme.

Bridging project applicants are expected to have a view on the NPA 2021-2027 future Policy and specific objectives within the scope of the current NPA 2014-2020 priority axes. The purpose of building a pipeline of project ideas for the upcoming programme is strengthening the starting position of the new programme. The MC is looking to fund projects in all NPA 2014-2020 Priority Axes, whilst at the same time addressing the themes of the forthcoming NPA 2021-2027 (See Annexes 1 and 2 in the Application Pack).


Project structure:  Minimum of 2 partners from 2 different programme partner countries, at least one of which is located in an EU Member State, and a proportional budget. The Lead Partner must be located in a NPA programme partner country in a Member State or Iceland or Norway or the UK. Recommended maximum project size 3-4 partners plus associated partners, if clear a role is defined.

Project Budget: The project budget should be proportional to the activities planned and project duration. Regular intervention rates of programme partner countries apply.

Lump sum grant: Recommended ERDF grant: 60.000 EUR plus Non Member State grants. A maximum ERDF grant of 100.000 EUR can be requested in well justified cases and prior consultation with the Joint Secretariat, in addition to Non Member States grants.

Project duration: 6 months

Expected outcomes: Preparatory projects applicants are expected to address their chosen specific objectives, with actions such as feasibility studies, stakeholder mapping and recommendations with the purpose of developing project ideas ideally concluding with the presentation of a main project application addressing a call for main project proposals in the new programme period 2021-2027.

Guidance for Applicants

See the NPA 2014-2020 Programme Manual for a description of the Priority Axes, instructions for how to apply and the NPA eligibility rules.

Applications have to be submitted online via eMS: by the call deadline on 8th October 2021, 12:00 CET.

Please carefully read the eMS instructions and all other application call documents which can be downloaded from the Application pack section of this webpage.


16th August 2021: Call opens

9th  September 2021: How to Apply seminar

8th October 2021, 12:00 CET: Call closes

8th December: Decision by Monitoring Committee

Further information

If you are interested in applying, we recommend that you are in touch with the Regional Contact Point in your region, click here for contact details. Alternatively, you can contact Christopher Parker at the Joint Secretariat, christopher.parker{at}