Go to news

Internal Security Fund

Opportunities for projects in the field of internal security

Internal Security Fund

In order to contribute to the development and implementation of an effective European Security Union aimed at ensuring a high level of internal security in all Member States, the European Commission has established  the Internal Security Fund (ISF), which intends to support actions aimed at preventing and combating terrorism and radicalisation, serious and organised crime, and cybercrime, as well as actions aimed at assisting and protecting victims of crime. The Internal Security Fund is managed by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME) in collaboration with Member States, and it has replaced the ISF-Police  instrument under the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework.

Do you have an innovative project in this field? We can help you!

In line with the EU security union strategy, the Internal Security Fund has three specific objectives: to enhance information exchange among and within the EU law enforcement authorities; to intensify cross-border joint operations in relation to all forms of crime, in particular to terrorism and serious and organised crime; and to strengthen capabilities to combat and prevent crime, including terrorism.

To meet these objectives, the Internal Security Fund was allocated a total budget of 1.93 billion euros for the period 2021-2027, almost twice as much as the budget of its predecessor. Funding allocated to the Member States’ programmes amounts to 1.35 billion euros, i.e. around 70% of the total envelope, while the remaining 30% (0.58 billion euros) are to be managed through the thematic facility, which provides funding for a number of priorities defined by the Commission, but can also be used to respond to immediate security challenges or unforeseen emergency situations. In this regard, when a Member State submits a request to use emergency assistance as an allocation to its national programme, and the Commission so decides, emergency assistance will be provided for as long as the emergency lasts and will be provided in the form of action grants awarded directly without a call for proposals.

In the framework of this fund  there are relevant open and forthcoming opportunities that are  worth analysing.

What Internal Security Fund assistance is available?

Organised crime (ISF-2023-TF2-AG-OC)

Until 12 March 2024. This call represents a paradigm shift in the field of security, as it aims to dismantle criminal networks as such, rather than targeting specific crimes and products. The call contains four horizontal priority areas (for all organised crime) and two specific priority crime areas (drug trafficking and trafficking in human beings) that require particular attention due to their prevalence and the harm they cause to citizens and society. The budget available for the call is 20 million euros.

Protection of Public Spaces (ISF-2024-TF2-AG-PROTECT)

Until 4 April 2024. This call aims to improve the protection of public spaces and covers the following six themes to support the implementation of the EU Counter-Terrorism Agenda on protection:

  • against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats in public spaces;
  • against misuse of and trafficking in firearms;
  • against explosive threats with sniffer dogs;
  • against potential threats posed by uncooperative drones;
  • of places of worship, schools and community gatherings;
  • of places of worship, schools and Jewish community gatherings.

It is important to note that each project application under this call must address only one topic. Applicants wishing to submit an application for more than one topic must submit a separate proposal for each topic. The budget available for the call is 30 million euros.

Protection of public spaces, including places of worship, CBRN, countering non-cooperative drones, firearms trafficking and explosives detection dogs (ISF-2024-TF2-AG-PROTECT-protection-public-spaces)

Until 4 April 2024. We analyse in detail the different topics of this call.

  • The aim of the Protection against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats in public spaces topic is to improve the overall protection of public spaces or critical infrastructure against these types of threats. For example, through the development of guidance materials on better protection and detection of threats. The budget for this topic is 25 million euros.
  • The objective of the topic Protection against the misuse and trafficking of firearms is to support the European Commission in meeting the objectives of the EU Action Plan 2020-2025 on firearms trafficking. These include, among others, stepping up law enforcement to increase pressure on criminal markets, and improving international cooperation to better exchange information and cooperate between EU and non-EU countries to reduce the proliferation of firearms in our neighbourhood. The budget available for this topic is 25 million euros.
  • The objective of the topic Protection against explosives threats with detection dogs is to contribute to the development of certification and training tools to improve the capabilities of detection dogs in the EU to detect explosives, firearms, and precursors. Such certification and training should be in line with existing detection standards and EU guidance on the methodology for the deployment of detection dogs. The budget for this topic is 25 million euros.
  • The overall objective of the topic Protection against threats posed by non-cooperative drones is to support the European Commission in the implementation of its Communication against drones. To achieve this goal, two specific objectives are identified: to contribute to the implementation of a harmonised testing methodology for anti-drone systems; and to support the C-UAS expert group and Brussels in identifying possible regulatory needs and assessing the potential for harmonisation of Member States’ laws and procedures. The budget for this topic is 25 million euros.
  • The aim of the topic Protection of places of worship, schools and community gatherings is to improve the protection of places of worship of all denominations. For example, by designing and implementing security awareness campaigns to make citizens more aware of threats and encourage them to report suspicious behaviour. The budget for this topic is 25 million euros.

Protection of Jewish places of worship, schools, and community gatherings (ISF-2024-TF2-AG-PROTECT-jewish-places-worship)

Until 4 April 2024. It aims to improve the protection of places of worship, schools and community gatherings visibly associated with the Jewish faith. For example, by establishing cooperation between the authorities and Jewish religious leaders and congregations, or through the development and implementation of security concepts, measures, and programmes to be developed in cooperation between religious leaders and security operators. The budget is 5 million euros.

What rate of funding is it possible to obtain through the Internal Security Fund?

Under the Internal Security Fund, a co-financing ceiling of 90% of the eligible costs is established in the case of an application submitted in response to a call for proposals. In the case of an emergency, where a direct award is necessary for very specific actions, this ceiling can reach 95% of the eligible costs. These cover direct costs (staff, subcontracting and procurement), indirect costs and other costs.

Who can apply for grants under the Internal Security Fund?

Any legal entity can apply for a grant under this programme, including public bodies, non-profit and for-profit entities, as well as international organisations, provided that they are established in an EU Member State (including Overseas Countries and Territories), excluding Denmark. Non-EU countries cannot participate in the Action as beneficiaries or affiliated entities, but can participate as associated partners (i.e. partner organisations participating in the Action, but not entitled to receive grant money).

What is the objective of the Internal Security Fund?

The objective of the Internal Security Fund is to create a safer Europe by strengthening capabilities to prevent and combat terrorism and organised and cybercrime, through victim assistance and protection, as well as through preparedness, protection and effective management of security-related incidents, risks and crises, for which the interoperability of information systems and databases is of central importance.

Is the Internal Security Fund the only European fund in this area?

No. The Internal Security Fund is one of the three European Internal Security Funds, together with the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Visa and Border Management Instrument. All of them are managed jointly by the European Commission and the Member States through the approval of programmes, and for the current financial framework they represent a joint budget of 17 billion euros at the European level.

But isn’t internal security an exclusive prerogative of each Member State?

While national security remains an exclusive competence of the Member States, the protection of national security requires cooperation and coordination at EU level, both between law enforcement and judicial authorities at national level and national authorities of other Member States, with agencies and other bodies of the Union, with third countries and relevant international organisations, as well as with the assistance of the private sector and civil society. Funding from the EU budget therefore focuses on actions where the Union’s intervention can bring added value compared to action by Member States alone.