Signing the Grant Agreement is the last step of the grant preparation phase. It is done directly in the Portal Grant Management System (electronic signature) and demonstrates that both contracting parties formally approve the agreement and its annexes.
The Grant Agreement enters into force with the last signature (normally the EU because the Coordinator usually signs first).
Where? Access to the Grant Management System is available through My Projects > Actions > Manage Project > Proposal Management & Grant Preparation > Sign .
Who? The Grant Agreement is signed by the EU and the Coordinator. The other Beneficiaries do not sign the Grant Agreement itself, but accede to the Grant Agreement through Accession Forms. Affiliated Entities or Associated Partners do not sign and do not become formal parties to the Agreement.
How? You will receive e-mail notifications prompting the tasks needed for grant signature. For more detail, see the list of grant-related notifications .
Signing EU Grant Agreements electronically — What's involved?
The electronic signature in the Portal requires:
- a chain of trust with Beneficiaries — to guarantee signatories' identity
- a system of digital signatures protected by multiple security features — to guarantee documents' reliability and authenticity
This type of electronic signature is used for signature of contracts, amendments and cost claims (Financial Statements and invoices).
The chain of trust
Signing the Grant Agreement
Not signed Grant Agreement
- If the Coordinator does not sign, the Granting Authority may stop preparing the grant and reject the proposal.
- If a Beneficiary does not sign the Accession Form within 30 days of the Grant Agreement entering into force, the Granting Authority may terminate the Grant Agreement. In this case, in order to continue with the project, the Coordinator must: request an amendment, so that any changes needed to ensure that the project is carried out properly can be made.
- This request must be made within 30 days after the missed deadline for signing the Accession Form.
- The request for an amendment does not affect the Granting Authority's right to terminate the Grant Agreement.
The Accession Form template is available for information on Portal Reference Documents.
Project starting date
The project starting date is calculated as from the entry into force of the Grant Agreement (last signature = signature by the EU).
The entry into force and starting date also determine the baseline date for the prefinancing (i.e. the float that we normally pay immediately after grant signature).
Depending on the programme (see call conditions), prefinancing is either paid 30 days from:
- Horizon Europe, Digital, SMP, etc: the entry into force or 10 days before the starting date or submission of the prefinancing guarantee (if required) — depending on which is the latest
- CEF, LIFE, EMFAF, Erasmus, etc: the entry into force or submission of the prefinancing guarantee (if required) — depending on which is the latest.