Communicate with DG ECHO

Flow of information

In this session, we will see how to manage the flow of information between the Partners and the DG ECHO, remembering that communication is essential at every stage of the action.

In particular, the partner will make sure that it informs ECHO every time it will face one of the following situations:

  • circumstances are likely to hamper or delay the implementation of the Action or the fulfilment of its contractual obligations;
  • it becomes aware of corrupt, fraudulent, collusive or coercive practice in breach of the Specific Grant Agreement.
  • external reports or other publications are issued in relation to the Action.

In addition, ECHO may request specific information relating to the implementation of the action at any time, In this case the partner shall submit this information as soon as possible, at the latest within 30 calendar days following the request.

In most cases, communication shall be transmitted via APPEL, unless otherwise requested in the FPA, the General Conditions or in the Specific Grant Agreement.

Depending on the nature of the communication, other means could be used, such as email, pdf letter sent by email or formal notification

The FPA foresees an exhaustive number of cases where a formal notification is required.
In all other cases, the necessity of sending a registered letter shall be considered on a case by case basis.

The roles are clearly defined between Brussels and the field offices (here you can download the table summarising the roles of ECHO operational team); the main contact points for ECHO partners are the operational desks officers in Brussels, however, for what concerns the communication's flow, it is possible to distinguish between two different levels of communication:

Operational communication at field level

DG ECHO presence in the field is represented by the Field Experts. They give technical support to EU-funded humanitarian operations, contribute to the development of humanitarian intervention strategies and monitor the implementation of EU funded projects. ECHO's field offices also ensure contact and coordination with humanitarian organisations in the field.

This means that, at this level and for operational issues, the Partner and its local implementing partners (being part of a Consortium or not) should always refer to the Field Expert.

However, please remember that experts cannot take any decision having legal or financial implication because only ECHO headquarter is authorised to do so.

Communication concerning the FPA, the Periodic Assessment or the SGA

These communications shall be done following the rules contained in the tables below:

Here below you can find the tables detailing the means to be used for each specific type of communication.

N.B When a Formal notification is required it means that the partner has to send a postal delivery with return receipt.

When sending emails or letters to the partners, ECHO will use the data provided in APPEL or in the Single Form. The partner is invited therefore to update regularly its official address and email addresses in APPEL.


Depending on the modality of communication, the following is the date of receipt:

  • Communication via APPEL: the day of the successful submission. After submitting the document, the partner will receive a message confirming the successful submission.
  • Communication by email: the date of successful dispatch (if it was sent to correct address!).
  • Postal delivery (without return receipt): the date of its registration by the Commission.
  • Formal notification: the date on which the letters are actually received.

LANGUAGE of communication

The working languages are French or English.

The Specific Grant Agreement will normally be concluded in the language in which the Single Form is filled in, and is not linked to the language in which the FPA was concluded. Following communications will be made in the language of the Agreement.

References & useful links