After the selection by the Monitoring Committee projects will enter the contracting phase. This lasts months and it concludes with the signature of the subsidy contract by the Managing Authority/Joint Secretariat and the lead partner.

The subsidy contract is a grant agreement between the contracting authority (Managing Authority/Joint Secretariat) and the lead partner. It sets up the legal framework for the commitment of funds and lays down the conditions for the project implementation.

During the contracting phase the conditions and recommendations of the Monitoring Committee in respect of the project application need to be answered. A subsidy contract can only be concluded once the contracting requirements are fulfilled.

After signature of the subsidy contract, but before the first payment request is submitted, an agreement between the lead partner and its project partners has to be concluded. In this partnership agreement, the project partners should give full support to the lead partner to ensure the successful implementation of the project, as well as a high quality and fulfilment of objectives. The partnership agreement formalises the division of mutual responsibilities and rights of partners.

An example of a partnership agreement is available for download on this website. It is not compulsory for the lead partner and its project partners to adopt the example clauses. Issues that are to be stipulated in the partnership agreement depend on the specific needs of each project. Therefore, the lead partner can negotiate the example of the partnership agreement with its project partners. However, the partnership agreement should fulfil the minimum requirements that are specified in the Programme Manual.