Cooperation partnerships

Deadline: 20-05-2021

Source: European Commission

General information


Erasmus+ Programme (ERASMUS)

Work programme part



Cooperation partnerships (ERASMUS-SPORT-2021-SCP)

Work programme year


Type of action


Type of MGA


Deadline model


Opening date

20 April 2021

Deadline date

20 May 2021 17:00:00 Brussels time

Topic description



The primary goal of Cooperation Partnerships is to allow organisations to increase the quality and relevance of their activities, to develop and reinforce their networks of partners, to increase their capacity to operate jointly at transnational level, boosting internationalisation of their activities and through exchanging or developing new practices and methods as well as sharing and confronting ideas. They aim to support the development, transfer and/or implementation of innovative practices as well as the implementation of joint initiatives promoting cooperation, peer learning and exchanges of experience at European level. Results should be re-usable, transferable, up-scalable and, if possible, have a strong transdisciplinary dimension. Selected projects will be expected to share the results of their activities at local, regional, national level and transnational level.

Cooperation Partnerships are anchored to the priorities and policy frameworks of each Erasmus+ sector, both at European and national level, while aiming at producing incentives for cross-sectoral and horizontal cooperation in thematic areas.

Cooperation Partnerships aim at:

  • Increasing quality in the work, activities and practices of organisations and institutions involved, opening up to new actors, not naturally included within one sector;
  • Building capacity of organisations to work transnationally and across sectors;
  • Addressing common needs and priorities in the fields of education, training, youth and sport;
  • Enabling transformation and change (at individual, organisational or sectoral level), leading to improvements and new approaches, in proportion to the context of each organisation.

Topic conditions and documents

1.   Eligible countries: as described in the Erasmus+ Programme Guide

EU Member States take part in the Erasmus+ Programme. In addition, in accordance with article 16 of the Erasmus+ Regulation, the following third countries are associated to the programme (subject to the signature of the Association Agreements between the European Union and those countries):

– members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA): Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein;

– acceding countries, candidate countries and potential candidates: Republic of North Macedonia, Republic of Turkey and Republic of Serbia;

The EU Member States and the above mentioned third countries associated to the programme will be hereafter called “Programme Countries”.

In addition, in accordance with article 17 of the Regulation, entities from other third countries non-associated to the Programme can be eligible in Erasmus+ actions in duly justified cases and in the Union interest (hereafter called “Partner Countries”).

2.   Eligibility and admissibility conditions: as described in the Erasmus+ Programme Guide


Who can apply?

Any participating organisation established in a Programme Country can be the applicant.  This organisation applies on behalf of all participating organisations involved in the project. 

Which types of organisations are eligible to participate in the project?

Any  public  or  private  organisation,  established  in  a  Programme  Country  or  in any Partner  Country  of  the  world  (see  section “Eligible  Countries” in  Part  A  of this  Guide)  can  participate  in  a  Cooperation  Partnership (Any  higher  education  institution  (HEI)  established  in  a  Programme  Country  and  wanting  to  participate  in  a  Cooperation  Partnership  must  hold  a valid Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE). An ECHE is not required for participating HEIs in Partner Countries, but they will have to sign up to its principles. For the purpose of this Action, informal groups of young people are not to be considered as an organisation, and are therefore not eligible to participate (neither as applicants nor as partners).  Organisations established in Programme  Countries  can  either  participate as  the  coordinator of the project or as a partner organisation. Organisations in Partner Countries cannot participate as project coordinators.

Irrespective of the field impacted by the project, Cooperation Partnerships are open  to  any  type  of  organisation  active  in  any  field  of  education,  training, youth,  sport  or  other  socio-economic  sectors  as  well  as  to  organisations carrying out activities that are transversal to different fields (e.g. local, regional and  national authorities, recognition and validation centres, chambers of commerce, trade organisations, guidance centres, cultural and sport organisations).

Depending on the priority and the objectives addressed by the project, Cooperation Partnerships  should involve the most appropriate and diverse range of partners in order to benefit from their different experiences, profiles and specific expertise and to produce relevant and high quality project results.

Participation of associated partner organisations

In addition  to  the  organisations  formally  participating  in  the  project  (the coordinator  and  partner  organisations),  Cooperation  Partnerships  may  also involve other partners from the public or private sector that contribute to the implementation  of  specific  project  tasks/activities  or  support  the  promotion and sustainability of the project.

Within an Erasmus+project, these partners will be called “associated partners”. For eligibility and contractual management aspects they are not considered to be project partners, and they do not receive any funding from the Programme as part of the project. However, in order to understand their role within the partnership and have a global picture about the proposal, their involvement in the project and in the different activities needs to be clearly described in the project proposal.

Number and profile of participating organisations

A  Cooperation  Partnership  is  a  transnational  project  and  involves  minimum three organisations from three different Programme Countries. There is  no  maximum  number  of  participating  organisations  in one partnership. All  participating  organisations  must  be  identified  at  the  time  of  applying  for  a grant.  As  a  general  rule, Cooperation  Partnerships  target  the  cooperation  between organisations  established  in  Programme  Countries.  However, organisations from Partner Countries can be involved as partners (not as applicants), if their participation brings an essential added value to the project.

Priorities addressed

To be considered for funding, Cooperation Partnerships must address either:

  • at least one horizontal priority and/or
  • at least one specific priority relevant to the field of education, training, youth and sport that is mostly impacted.

Venue of the activities

All the activities of a Cooperation Partnership must take place in the countries of  the  organisations  participating  in  the  project,  either  as  full  or  as  associated partners. In  addition,  if  duly  justified  in  relation  to  the  objectives  or  implementation  of the project:

  • Activities  can  also  take  place  at  the  seat  of  an  Institution  of  the European  Union (seats of the Institutions of the European Union are Brussels, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Strasbourg, and The Hague), even if in the project there are no participating organisations from the country that hosts the Institution.
  • Activities involving sharing and promotion of results can also take place at relevant thematic transnational events/conferences in Programme or Partner Countries.

Duration of project

Between 12 and 36 months. The duration has to be chosen at application stage, based on the objectives of the project and on the type of activities planned over time. The duration of  a  Cooperation  Partnership  may  be  extended,  upon justified request  by  the  beneficiary and with the agreement of the Executive Agency, provided that the total duration does not exceed 36 months. In such a case, the total grant will not change.

Eligible learning, teaching and training activities

The  partnership  may  organise  learning,  teaching  and  training  activities  for staff,  youth  workers,  learners and  young people in order to support  project implementation and the achievement of the project objectives. The learning, teaching and training activities can take any form relevant for the project and may involve more than one type of participants, individually or as a group.  The  format,  purpose  and  the  type  and  number  of  participants in the proposed  activities  will  be  described  and  justified as part of the project application. Eligible participants in learning, teaching and training activities include:

  • teaching and non-teaching staff (in the school education field, this includes educational staff intervening in schools, such as school inspectors, school counsellors, pedagogical advisors, psychologists, etc.) such as professors, teachers, trainers and other staff working in participating organisations;
  • youth workers;
  • invited teachers and experts from non-participating organisations;
  • apprentices, VET learners, higher education students (in the field of higher education, students must be registered in a participating HEI and enrolled in studies leading to a recognised degree or other recognised tertiary level qualification, up to and including the level of doctorat), adult learners, and school pupils from participating organisations;
  • young people from countries of the participating organisations.
  • Sport staff members such as coaches, managers or instructors; athletes; referees.


Admissibility criteria

Applications must be sent no later than the deadline for submitting applications as indicated in the call.

For actions managed by the Executive Agency, applications must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System:  Applications (including annexes and supporting documents) must be submitted using the forms provided in the Submission System. Evaluators will not consider any additional pages.

The applications must be readable and accessible.

Applications must be complete containing all parts and mandatory annexes. Only clerical errors can be corrected after the submission deadline upon request of the managing agency.


The proposed funding model consists of a menu of 3 single lump sums, corresponding to the total grant amount for the project: 120 000  EUR,  250  000  EUR  and  400  000  EUR. Applicants  will  choose  between  the  3  pre-defined  amounts according to the activities they want to undertake and the results they want to achieve.

When  planning  their  projects,  the  applicant  organisations – together  with  their  project  partners – will need  to  choose the  single  lump  sum amount  more  appropriate  to  cover  the  costs  of  their  projects,  based  on  their  needs  and objectives. If the project is selected for funding, the requested lump sum amount becomes the overall grant amount. Proposals  must describe  the  activities that  applicants  commit  to  carry  out with  the  lump  sum  amount  requested  and must satisfy the principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

Requirements depending on the lump sum

a) For grant amounts of 120.000 or 250.000 EUR:

Proposals shall include a needs analysis and indicate the distribution of tasks and budget among project partners. The timeline for implementation of each project work package and activities and the deadline for the production of project deliverables shall be indicated as well.

The project description shall make a distinction between project management and work packages for implementation. Applicants must split the project activities in “work packages”. Each work package shall be linked to specific objectives, milestones and deliverables. Applicants are recommended to split their projects in a maximum of 5 work packages, including the one on project management.

b) For grant amounts of 400.000 EUR:

The  description  of  the project  shall  include  a detailed project  methodology with a clear distribution of  tasks and  the financial arrangements among partners, a detailed timeline with milestones and main deliverables, the monitoring and control system and the tools put in place to ensure a timely implementation of the project activities.

Applicants must split the project activities in “work packages”. Each work package shall be linked to specific objectives, milestones and deliverables. Applicants are recommended to split their projects in a maximum of 5 work packages, including the one on project management.

Proposals shall develop quality assurance and monitoring mechanisms and an evaluation strategy. As part of the evaluation strategy, applicants must identify a set of quantitative and qualitative indicators allowing to assess the level of achievement of those objectives.

3. Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.

Applications are limited to 40 pages for calls for low value grants (60 000 or below); 70 for all other calls. Evaluators will not consider any additional pages.

4.   Evaluation

Evaluation criteria, scoring, threshold and process are described in the Erasmus+ Programme Guide.

Relevance of the project (maximum score 30 points)

The extent to which:

  • the proposal  is  relevant  for objectives  and  priorities  of  the  Action.  In addition the proposal will be considered as highly relevant if: it addresses the priority “inclusion and diversity”;
  • the  profile,  experience  and  activities  of  the  participating  organisations are relevant for the field of the application;
  • the proposal is based on a genuine and adequate needs analysis;
  • the proposal is suitable for creating synergies between different fields of education, training, youth and sport or it has potentially a strong impact on one or more of those fields;
  • the proposal is innovative;
  • the proposal is complementary to other initiatives already carried out by the participating organisations;
  • the  proposal  brings  added  value  at  EU  level  through  results  that  would not be attained by activities carried out in a single country. 

Quality of the project design and implementation (maximum score 20 points)

The extent to which:

  • the project objectives are clearly defined, realistic and address needs and goals  of  the participating  organisations  and  the  needs of  their  target groups;
  • the proposed methodology is clear, adequate and feasible:
    • the project  work  plan  is clear,  complete  and effective, including appropriate  phases  for  preparation,  implementation  and  sharing project results;
    • the  project is  cost-effective and allocates  appropriate  resources  to each activity;
    • the project  proposes appropriate quality  control,  monitoring  and evaluation measures to ensure that the project implementation is of high quality, completed in time and on budget;
  • the  activities  are  designed  in  an  accessible  and  inclusive  way  and  are open to people with fewer opportunities.
  • the project incorporates the use of digital tools and learning methods to complement  their  physical  activities,  and  to  improve  the  cooperation between partner organisations.
    • If  Erasmus+online  platforms  are  available  in  the  field(s) of  the participating  organisations: the extent  to  which  the  project makes use  of  Erasmus+online  platforms  (eTwinning, EPALE, School  Education  Gateway,  European  Youth  Portal,  EU Youth Strategy Platform) as tools for preparation, implementation and follow-up of the project activities.
  • The  project  is  designed  in  an  eco-friendly  way  and  incorporates  green practices in different project phases

If the project plans training, teaching or learning activities:

  • the  extent  to  which  these  activities  are  appropriate for the  project’s objectives and  involve the  appropriate profile and number of participants;
  • the   quality   of   practical   arrangements,   management   and   support modalities in  learning, teaching and training activities;
  • the   quality   of   arrangements   for   the   recognition   and   validation of participants’  learning  outcomes,  in  line  with  European  transparency  and recognition tools and principles.

Quality of the partnership and the cooperation arrangements (maximum score 20 points)

The extent to which:

  • the  project  involves  an  appropriate  mix  of  participating  organisations in terms of profile, past  experience in the Programme and expertise  to successfully complete all project objectives;
  • the project involves newcomers and less experienced organisations to the Action;
  • the  proposed  allocation  of  tasks  demonstrates  the  commitment  and  active contribution of all participating organisations;
  • the   proposal   includes  effective   mechanisms   for   coordination   and communication  between the  participating  organisations,  as  well  as  with other relevant stakeholders.
  • If  applicable,  the  extent  to  which  the  involvement  of  a  participating organisation  from  a  Partner  Country  brings  an  essential  added  value  to the project (if this condition is not fulfilled, the participating organisation from  a  Partner  Country  will  be  excluded  from  the  project  proposal  at assessment stage).

Impact (maximum score 30 points)

The extent to which:

  • the project proposal includes concrete and logical steps to integrate the project results in the regular work of participating organisations;
  • the project has the potential to positively impact its participants and participating organisations, as well as their wider communities;
  • the expected project results have the potential to be used outside the organisations participating in the project during and after the project lifetime, and at local, regional, national or European level;
  • the  project  proposal  includes  concrete  and  effective  steps  to  make  the results  of  the  project  known  within  the  participating  organisations,  to share the results with other organisations and the public, and to publicly acknowledge the European Union funding;
    • if  relevant,  the  extent  to  which  the  proposal  describes  how  the materials, documents and media produced  will be made freely available and promoted through open licences, and does not contain disproportionate limitations;
  • the project proposal includes concrete and effective steps to ensure the sustainability of the project, its capacity to continue having an impact and producing results after the EU grant has been used up.

To be considered for funding, proposals must score at least 60 points. Furthermore, they must score at least half of the maximum points in each of the categories of award criteria mentioned above (i.e. minimum 15 points for the categories “relevance of the project” and “impact”; 10 points for the categories “quality of the project design and implementation” and “quality of the partnership and the cooperation arrangements”).

For  Cooperation  Partnerships  managed  by  the  Executive  Agency,  in  ex  aequo  cases,  priority  will  be  given  to  highest scores for “relevance of the project” and then “impact”.

5.   Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement: as described in the Erasmus+ Programme Guide.

Publication of the call:  25/03/2021

Indicative timeline for notification of the grant award decision and signature of the grant agreement:

The notification of the award decision will take place, indicatively, 6 months after the submission deadline and the signature of the grant agreement will take place, indicatively, 9 months from the submission deadline.

6.   Proposal templates, guidance and model grant agreements (MGA):

       Standard proposal template

Call document: The call document can be found by following this link:

The details are described in the Erasmus+ Programme Guide here:
Mono/Multi-beneficiary Model Grant Agreement

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