Posted by on 2018-11-19

A clear (non-exhaustive) Glossary for European Project Managers

As International Project Managers in Europe — or as we call them, European Project Managers — know very well, a good deal of their job is interpreting the guidelines provided by the European Commission and its bodies on how to manage at best European funding.

Despite its renowned technicality, the European Commission does not seem to have provided upstream a clear unambiguous technical vocabulary to its various Directorate-Generals for implementing the funding programmes of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020. As a result, each funding programme uses the same terms — such as applicant, action, activity — with more or less slightly different meanings. Adding this to the 23 translations that each word that is officially printed by the European Commission needs to go through, you can immagine the mess.

Far from criticizing the EU professionals, we know that developing a technical language for such a big sub-culture is no easy task and needs time. That is why we also propose to solve the problem from the bottom.

EPN aims at developing a common framework for all stakeholders of European Projects by defining the most recurrent — and problematic — technical terms of the European funding programmes with the purpose of promoting the principle of transparency.

This is only the fist part of a long list of terms that we are cross-checking between the different programmes and against our own experience in European Project Management. We plan to draw up a unique glossary with definitions and propositions that we plan to publish and offer to professionals and non-professionals across Europe. To do this, our reference point and touchstone will be the ISO 21500:2012 ‘Guidance on project management’ publication.

Contribute to the following list by proposing terms, definitions, funding programme and related resources in the comments of this post!

  • Achievement / Result / Output / Outcome / Output / Impact / Benefit
  • (Key) Action / Strand / Pillar / Measure / Call / Guide(-lines)
  • Applicant / Leader / Partner / Associate (~ Organisation-s) + Consortium
  • Deliverable
  • Event / Exchange / Meeting / Activity
  • Forum / Platform
  • Objective (General ~, Specific ~) / Goal / Target
  • Problem / Issue
  • Stakeholder / Participant / Participating organisation / (Direct / Indirect ~) Target / Beneficiary / User / Audience

Author(s) of this post



  1. Nicolas
    Monday May 20th, 2019

    Leave a Reply


    I like this post.

    Yes I agree. It is not because we use the same terms that we mean the same.
    So this Glossary for European Project Managers ” is a very usefull initiative
    and we can only hope that, thanks to the contribution of many, active in European Project Management,, it will in the future become the “wikipedia” of the right term in a common and well understood “European Project Management Language” 🙂


  2. Bachelor of Accounting Program Telkom University
    Tuesday August 18th, 2020

    Leave a Reply

    Its like you learn my mind! You appear to understand a lot about this, such as you wrote the e-book in it or something. did you really learn from e-books?

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