Before applying to this programme, please read through the following guidelines.
1. General information
The Nordic Council of Ministers offers financial support for Nordic embassies and diplomatic missions outside of the Nordic region through our Nordic Embassy Cooperation Programme (NEP Programme).
The purpose of the programme is to support and inspire Nordic embassies and diplomatic missions across the world to implement Nordic initiatives to inform about Nordic values, solutions, thoughts, and competences in the world and to promote knowledge about Nordic cooperation with a special focus on topics that supports the realization of The Nordic Council of Ministers Our vision 2030. Our Vision 2030 objective is that the Nordic region will become the most sustainable and integrated region in the world in 2030.
2. Application rounds
Each year there will be two rounds of applications. The first grant call will be announced in Q1 and the second grant call will be announced in Q3. All the openings of the grant calls will be announced on the home page of Nordic Embassy Cooperation Programme www.nepgrants.org, on the home page of Nordic Council of Ministers www.norden.org and on the home page of the Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Estonia www.norden.ee. We advise applicants to subscribe to NEP-Grants newsletter to get notified about new application rounds.
Please note that we cannot accept spontaneous applications.
3. Requirements for applying
- Only Nordic embassies and/or diplomatic missions outside the Nordic region may apply. (For more information please see our FAQ)
- The project lead partner (applying institution) has to be a Nordic embassy or Nordic diplomatic mission outside the Nordic region. Involvement is defined as helping to run or implement the project.
- All projects must involve at least three of the following countries: Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Åland. However, one of the Nordic countries may be replaced by one non-Nordic country.
- Alternatively one Nordic embassy, one Nordic diplomatic mission and one or multiple partner organizations from the host country may also qualify.
- Furthermore national cultural institutes, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the host country, other organizations of the local/host country and other partners alike are encouraged to participate jointly with Nordic embassies or diplomatic missions. (For more information please see our FAQ)
- Projects must be linked to the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Our Vision 2030. This means that projects need to incorporate one or more of the following aspects in its preparation, objectivity and activities:
- A green Nordic Region: together, we will promote a green transition of our societies and work towards carbon neutrality and a sustainable circular and bio-based economy.
- A competitive Nordic Region: together, we will promote green growth in the region based on knowledge, innovation, mobility, and digital integration.
- A socially sustainable Nordic Region: Together we will promote an inclusive, gender-equal, and cohesive region with shared values, increased cultural exchanges, and enhanced welfare provisions.
- Applicants should elaborate how the following interdisciplinary perspectives: gender equality, children’s rights and youth perspective and sustainable development are implemented and/or mainstreamed in the project. For inspiration please see the following links:
- Projects help to add Nordic value (For more information please see our FAQ)
Nordic value is defined as:
- the project being a collaborative effort between the Nordic countries;
- the outcomes benefit the Nordic countries.
4. How much can be applied for?
- A minimum amount of 5000 EUR and a maximum amount of 45 000 EUR per project can be applied for.
- The annual budget for the Nordic Embassy Cooperation programme is 536 000 EUR.
5. Timeline for project activities / Project period
Applicants must clearly state the duration of the project. It is expected that activities begin after approval of a project (activites carried out before approval of a project are are not reimbursed). The grant must be used and all the activities of the project must be completed within 24 months from the announcement of the grant call.
6. How to apply?
To apply, the lead partner (applying institution) must submit the application on behalf of all involved partners. The lead partner will be responsible for the transfer of funds to its project partners and for delivering the report (content and financial). Applications are to be submitted on-line using the electronic application and reporting system at www.nepgrants.org before the deadline. Application form example can be found here.
Application and related documents should be submitted in English.
When the application is submitted, the steering committee of NEP Grants ensures that the application meets the requirements of applying and assesses all the applications. Based on the assessment, the final prioritisation of applications is made by the steering committee of NEP Grants, and presented to Nordic Council of Ministers Secretary General. Hereafter, the NCM Secretary General will make the final decision regarding the projects to receive a grant.
7. When can you expect the decision to be made?
Decisions can be expected within 8 or more weeks after the deadline of the application, depending on how many applications were submitted in the application round. All applicants will be informed about the outcome of the selection process. The decisions cannot be subject to appeal.
8. Evaluation criteria
Decisions on grants are based:
1) the overall quality of the application and
2) the following criteria:
- The activity fulfils at least one of the Nordic Council of Ministers Our Vision 2030 12 objectives. Fulfilment of multiple Our Vision 2030 objectives (incorporating two or more objectives e.g. one objective from a green Nordic region and a one objective from competitive Nordic region etc.) is considered positive in the evaluation.
- The activity takes into consideration interdisciplinary perspectives (sustainable development, gender equality, children and young people´s rights).
- Project contributes to Nordic added value.
- Innovativeness of the project (the project contains new approaches compared to the past, or adresses new and relevant topics, themes or questions).
- Involvement of multiple partners in the project and relevance of partnerships.
- Project budget is well developed (travel costs and subsistence have been economized upon, we encourage careful consideration of air travel).
- Co-funding and Self-funding of certain costs (will be considered positive in the evaluation).
- Project communication is well developed.
- Applicable to medium to large sized projects: the project has a long-term effect/high impact on the public/target group.
The steering committee of NEP Grants encourages all sizes (small, medium, large) of projects based on the evaluation criteria.
9. Financial framework
Funding opportunities for eligible applicants are divided into two categories:
9.1. Financial support for smaller projects with a budget no greater than 5000 EUR
Financial support for small projects is granted to support branding activities (e.g. Business promotion, Nordic food, film or music festivals, podcast series etc.) with the purpose of informing about the Nordic region, Nordic solutions, and the Nordic cooperation in the host country.
9.2. Financial support for medium to large projects with a budget of at least 5000 EUR up to a maximum of 45 000 EUR.
Financial support for medium to large projects is granted to support united Nordic activities and arrangements working with the agenda of as well as promoting the Nordic Council of Ministers Our vision 2030. Such projects could consist of a single large event or a series of activities (e.g. Promotion of gender equality in the host country, Sustainable development of architectural solutions between host country and other countries etc.).
9.3. Payment procedures: 85% of the allocated grant is paid as advance payment once the applicant has accepted the terms and conditions of the grant contract (example of the grant contract can be found here). The remaining part (15%) is paid after a report (content and financial) has been submitted and approved by Nordic Council of Ministers.
Please see more information about eligible and non-eligible costs in our FAQ.
10. Project results
All publications, announcements, etc. which at any given time derive from the funding awarded from the Nordic Embassy Cooperation Programme shall indicate that the project has received funding from the Nordic Council of Ministers and must carry the logo of Nordic Council of Ministers. Nordic Council of Ministers logo must be displayed at least as prominently and visibly as the other logos.
Publications, including reports, websites, and other information material, produced under this project shall contain the following disclaimer: This publication has been produced with the financial support from the Nordic Council of Ministers. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the coordinators of this project and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
A report is to be submitted on-line using the electronic application and reporting system at www.nepgrants.org no later than 30 days after the end date of the project.
The report consists of a content report and a financial report. Please see the report form example (PDF) in Application, Report Example section.
The content report is based on the headings and information you provided in your application when you applied for funding. You must include a summary of the project results as well as any changes and results for each main goal in the project description. In the financial report, you must follow up on the budget that you submitted at the start of the project.
In the financial report you will be asked to follow up on the budget that you submitted at the start of the project. Copies of receipts and/or tickets (scanned) should be added in the financial report in a list. Please give numbers to each receipt and/or ticket with an explanation in English and with the corresponding sum in currency of payment and EUR. Originals of receipts and/or tickets should be kept by the applying organisation for 5 years.
The reports should be written in English.
As Nordic embassies and/or diplomatic missions are part of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the respective country, these are subject to the national audits. Thus, for Nordic embassies and/or diplomatic missions there is generally no requirement for specific auditing.
Questions regarding the application can be found in the FAQ section. In case of other questions please contact directly Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Estonia adviser Merilin Kolk, Mob: +372 5855 1207, e-mail address: