Partners' visibility obligations

With the signature of the FPA, the Partner commits to publicise the relevance and impact of Union funded humanitarian aid, both in the European Union and in third countries where Union funded actions are carried out.

In general terms, Partners are obliged to highlight their humanitarian partnership with the European Commission. This must be done through basic visibility, communication and information activities, which implementation requires that the Partners ensure equal treatment between the Commission and (in case) other donors in their visibility and communication activities.

As concerns visibility, the Partner has the obligation to:

(1) display of the EU humanitarian aid field visual identity. The size and prominence of the EU visual identity will depend on the specific context (e.g. the amount and proportion of EU funding).

(2) give written and verbal recognition of the EU's role in global humanitarian aid, in partnership with the agency implementing the action, when referring to an EU funded project in media interviews, press releases, webpages, blogs, articles about the project, etc.

All the measures put in place in order to comply with this obligation shall comply with the Communication and Visibility Manual for European Union Humanitarian Aid published by the European Commission.

As concerns the communication activities linked to the Union-funded Action (audio-visual productions, websites or pages, media contacts, journalists’ visits, paid advertising, printed publications, public events, etc.), the Partner commits to highlight its partnership with the European Union and to bring the support given by the European Union to the attention of the beneficiaries and of the general public.

Furthermore, the partners have the obligation to include the following text or a similar disclaimer on any information, communication and publications issued in relation to a Union-funded Action, in any form and medium, including the Internet:

“This document covers humanitarian aid activities implemented with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of the European Union, and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.”

On the visibility website, you can find best practices on how to implement visibility and communication activities.

Derogation to the visibility obligation

As regard to the visibility in the field, a derogation will have to be requested, if one of the check boxes of the section 9.1 A is deselected or if less than four boxes of the section 9.1 B are selected. Derogation may be agreed in those contexts where the visibility activities may harm the implementation of the Action, or the safety of the staff of the Partner or its Implementing Partners, or the safety of beneficiaries or the local community. The derogation should be introduced in section 11 of the Single Form at proposal stage or, at a later stage, through a modification request. If approved, the derogation will appear in the Article 6.2 of the Specific Grant Agreement.

In any case, please remember that the derogation for visibility in the field should not stop the partner from carrying out visibility, communication or information activities at headquarters level.


During their monitoring visits, ECHO staff will check, among other aspects of the action, whether the partner is fulfilling its minimum obligations in terms of visibility. If ECHO staff could not find sufficient evidence, a letter will be sent to the partner to seek clarifications and to request that more efforts are put to publicise the funding.


At the end of the action, within the Final Report, the partner will have to demonstrate that the contractual visibility and communication obligation has been respected as an integrated part of the action and throughout the implementation process.

Breaches of the visibility obligations

If the Partner breaches any of the foreseen obligations, the Commission may:

  • reduce the grant;
  • impose a financial penalty on the Partner, equal to 2% of the Union’s contribution;
  • both reduce the grant and impose a financial penalty;
  • suspend of payments, terminate the Specific Grant Agreement and apply administrative penalties in accordance with Article 28 of the General Conditions.

References & useful links