The FPA Watch Group

The Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) defines the contractual relationship - regulations and responsibilities - between DG for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and humanitarian organisations. There is an ongoing consultation process between ECHO and its NGO partners on the FPA. The current FPA entered into force on 1st January 2014.

The FPA Watch Group represents the views of ECHO’s NGO partners in the monitoring, review and consultation of all matters relating to the FPA. It works towards a common interpretation and consistent application of the FPA. Composed of a smaller number of members, the FPA Task Force is the "executive" of the Watch Group. The FPA Watch Group is subject to regular renewal as per its Terms of Reference.

As well as the technical aspects of the FPA WG, it is necessary to underline the importance of the Watch Group as a place of co-operation, exchange of information and reflection. This dynamic of co-operation solidifies the strength of the Group but above all improves the level of professionalism of NGOs allowing them to retain and protect their unique status. 


Contact for questions relating to the FPA WG

+32 (0)2 541 13 60

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For more about the history and impact of the FPA Watch Group, see the briefing produced by VOICE "Partners in Humanitarian Aid: The FPA consultation as a model of EC partnership with NGOs" (December 2004).


The role of VOICE

Through its membership, VOICE represents about half of ECHO partners and acts as main interlocutor for humanitarian NGOs with EU institutions. To date, the role of VOICE regarding the FPA consultation process has included:

  • Contact with all ECHO partners in order to ensure that they are informed and have an opportunity to express their opinions;
  • Inform the VOICE members who are not participating in the FPA Watch Group (circulation via the VOICE website and the FLASH);
  • Organise the contacts between the FPA Watch Group, the FPA Task Force and ECHO;
  • Supervise the preparation of preliminary documents and draft the reports of meetings and other documents;
  • Correspond officially with the Head of ECHO, as required;
  • Facilitate the (re)constitution of the Watch Group 

As part of the consultation process, VOICE attempts at all times to ensure that the interests of humanitarian NGOs are protected and defended. It provides information to its members and acts as a point-of-contact for NGOs which may have sensitive questions they do not wish to direct to ECHO. NGO FPA comments and concerns, whether a member of the Watch Group or not, can be sent to fpa[at]

Click here to access the ECHO website dedicated to humanitarian partners