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Dutch Fund for Regional Partnerships - NFRP-Matra

Published on:
14 July 2023
Last checked on:
19 January 2024

A more robust democracy and a firm rule of law increase the stability of all nations. The NFRP-Matra programme helps the European Union's neighbouring countries strengthen their rule of law and democracy. The programme offers knowledge, advice and network access.

What is the NRFP-Matra programme?

Countries that want to join the European Union (EU) must meet strict conditions. Some countries in the Eastern Partnership have an association agreement with the EU, which also has strict terms. The NFRP-Matra programme supports these countries in taking the necessary steps to meet the EU's conditions. The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) work with external parties to offer support services. These include knowledge, advice and network access.

As part of the NRFP-Matra programme, RVO handles the implementation of 2 sub-programmes:

1. Matra Rule of Law (RoL) training programme; and
2. Projects fostering Government-to-Government cooperation.

For whom?

NRFP-Matra is for:

  • Governments of (potential) candidate member states preparing for EU membership;
  • Governments of Eastern Partnership countries;
  • Organisations that play a part as experts, trainers or implementing parties in projects enhancing the rule of law and democracy in partner countries. Examples are Dutch government institutes, non-departmental public organisations, legal entities with statutory tasks, knowledge institutes, training institutes and NGOs.

Partner countries

NFRP-Matra's sub-programmes are for:

  • Countries preparing for EU membership: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Türkiye and Ukraine;
  • Countries in the Eastern Partnership with a Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement.

How NRFP-Matra helps

In the partner countries, NFRP-Matra helps:

  • Tackle corruption and organised crime;
  • Reorganise the judiciary and civil service;
  • Improve the position of minorities;
  • Ensure fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of expression and information; and
  • Ensure a reliable and effective government.

Matra Rule of Law (RoL) training programme

Civil servants from NFRP-Matra partner countries can attend short training courses in the Netherlands through the Rule of Law (RoL) training programme for 2023-2027. These courses focus on developing democracy, the rule of law and topics that are essential for joining the EU.

The Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC) implements the training programme in partnership with The Hague Academy for Local Governance and Leiden University.

Projects fostering Government-to-Government cooperation

Within the sub-programme Projects fostering Government-to-Government cooperation, the Netherlands assists NFRP-Matra country governments that work towards a more vital rule of law, good administration and democracy. In 2019 and 2020, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs selected projects for funding through NFRP-Matra 2020-2024: Government to Government. RVO has been managing these programmes since 1 August 2023.

This sub-programme is closed and only handles ongoing projects; you can no longer apply for funding.

NFRP-Matra subsidy 2025-2029

We expect to launch a new funding scheme for NFRP-Matra in early 2025. Information on this scheme will be available on this page in due time.

The current subsidy framework for NFRP-Matra 'Government-to-Government' applies until the end of 2024. The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and RVO are working on the subsidy policy framework for 2025-2029. For this framework, we consult with organisations that want to qualify for funding. You can provide your input on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.


Government Gazette, 13 September 2019 (in Dutch).

Questions about NFRP-Matra?

Commissioned by:
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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