Grant payments in Horizon 2020

The EU grant is paid to the coordinator in several installments, as pre-financing, interim payment(s) and balance payment. The coordinator is responsible for administering the grant and distributing it among the beneficiaries.


The coordinator receives the following payments from the EU Commission according to article 21 of the Grant Agreement (GA):

PaymentDate of payment
Pre-FinancingWithin 30 days of the entry into force of the GA or 10 days prior to the starting date of the action (whichever is the latest)
Interim Payment(s)Within 90 days of submission of the interim report
Balance PaymentWithin 90 days of submission of the final report


The pre-financing payment is designed to ensure a first cash flow for implementing the project. Its amount usually corresponds to the average grant amount for a reporting period. It remains the property of the EU Commission until the balance payment. Since five percent of the maximum EU grant is deducted from the pre-financing payment and directly paid into the Guarantee Fund, the amount transferred to the coordinator will always be lower than the amount stated in article 21.2 GA.

The interim payment(s) and the balance payment reimburse the costs declared in the relevant reporting period until the threshold of 85 percent of the maximum EU grant is reached. 15 percent of the EU grant (i.e. 10 percent retention and 5 percent refund from the Guarantee Fund) are only disbursed at the end of the action.

The grant is transferred to the account of the coordinator. The setting up of a separate project account is not obligatory according to the GA, but is required in many Consortium Agreements.

If the EU Commission does not meet the specified payment deadlines without officially suspending the payment deadline or payments (articles 47 and 48 GA), the consortium is entitled to default interest.


Recovery by the EU Commission at the balance payment

An eventual recovery of undue amounts at the balance payment follows this procedure:

1. The EU Commission sends a pre-information letter to the coordinator. 

2. The coordinator has 30 days from receiving the pre-information letter to submit a report on the distribution of payments to the beneficiaries to the EU Commission. Furthermore he/she may submit observations to this pre-information letter to the EU Commission.

3. The EU Commission confirms recovery (possibly under consideration of eventual observations) and submits a notification of amounts due (this takes form of a debit note with conditions and deadlines).

4. Afterwards there are two possibilities, depending on what the coordinator did and submitted:

4.1. The coordinator did not pay the recovery and did not submit a report on the distribution of payments to the beneficiaries - The EU Commission will recover the amounts due from the coordinator.

4.2. The coordinator did not pay the recovery, but submitted a report on the distribution of payments to the beneficiaries - The EU Commission identifies the beneficiary/ies, that received too much and notifies to this/these beneficiary/ies a debit note (see above).

5. If no payment of the recovery is made by the beneficiary/ies, the EU Commission will recover the amounts by offsetting against any amounts owed to the beneficiary/ies concerned and/or by drawing on the Guarantee Fund.

The financial liability of the beneficiaries in case of recovery is limited to their own debt, except for the amount retained for the Guarantee Fund.  

More information can be found in the Annotated Model Grant Agreement, article 44.1


More information can be found ...



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Mag. Tamara-Katharina MITISKA
Mag. Tamara-Katharina MITISKA

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Robert WOREL
Robert WOREL

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