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International Partnerships

Communicating and raising EU visibility: Guidance for external actions

Communicating and raising visibility plays a key role in strengthening the EU’s role in the world, fostering democratic debate and demonstrating the EU’s positive contribution to people’s lives.

The following guidance outlines what is expected of partners implementing EU external actions.


Recipients of EU funding have a general obligation to acknowledge the origin and ensure the visibility of any EU funding received. The visibility obligations apply equally, regardless of whether the actions concerned are implemented by the European Commission, through grants and procurement contracts, or partners through indirect management.

The EU emblem is the single most important visual brand used to acknowledge the origin and ensure the visibility of EU funding. Apart from the emblem, no other visual identity or logo may be created or used to highlight EU support, unless previously agreed with the European Commission. Partners implementing Global Gateway projects/programmes should also include the Global Gateway logo in addition to the EU emblem.


The EU emblem should be accompanied by a funding statement (‘Funded by the European Union’ or ‘Co-funded by the European Union’) mentioning the EU’s support. Both the EU emblem and the funding statement are essential to acknowledge EU support. As a rule, they always go hand in hand and must not be separated.

Visibility counts as an eligible cost. Any expenditure related to visibility is part of the action and can benefit from EU funding. Given that individual projects/programmes will not, in principle, include a dedicated visibility budget any costs necessary to ensure compliance with contractual visibility requirements should be factored into the budget foreseen for the relevant objectives and activities of the action.

Strategic Communication

In certain cases, the EU may decide to finance communication actions on selected political priorities as part of a specific programme or project. In these cases, communication should help ensure awareness, understanding and perception of the EU and its role in the world, in both the EU and partner countries and regions, is commensurate with the scale, scope and ambition of its sustained engagement.

When strategic communication activities are foreseen as part of a specific programme or project, the implementing partner should produce a Strategic Communication Plan. The guidance details the main elements that should be included in this plan.

Ensuring communication activities are data driven is critical to their success. Key performance indicators can be quantitative or qualitative, and in a good monitoring system, both types of indicators complement each other.

Partners should involve the EU in developing and implementing strategic communication activities, for example press engagement, events or production of audiovisual content. This will help ensure alignment with the EU’s own strategic communication plans and maximise impact.

Legal and contractual

The European Union has the right to use communication material produced and owned by the recipients of EU funding. This right is granted in the form of a royalty-free, non-exclusive and irrevocable licence. The ownership of the material remains with the recipients of the EU funding.

The EU will act in an appropriate and timely manner in the event of non-compliance by partners of visibility and/or, if relevant, strategic communication obligations, as is the case with any other breach of contractual obligations.

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