The European Community’s economic support occurs mainly through two ways:
- by direct financing activities, or by providing contributions to beneficiaries who can access them by joining the notices that are made public as they become available;
- through indirect financing activities, or by providing available resources to local authorities and public institutions in the Member States.
For both direct and indirect management funds, access by companies and interested parties is always governed by precise rules published by the Official Journal of the European Union (as well as by national and regional Gazettes) and they are also widely communicated on the European Community website.
The possible advantages can also be summarised as follows:
- non-repayable contributions mean sums allocated to the holding in respect of specific projects which are non-interest-bearing and do not need to be repaid;
- interest subsidies granted in respect of and after obtaining financing under normal market conditions from a credit institution;
- fee contributions, non-repayable facility to reduce the cost of financial transactions entered into at market rates;
- soft loans, medium/long-term loans at a rate below the market rate. Failure to access the credit facility also results in the credit facility not being provided, albeit on market terms.