The economic theory has long since recognized the importance of innovation as one of the engines of economic growth and development. On the other hand, at the microeconomic level, research, development and innovation are some of the key factors for the organization’s growth. Traditionally, the process of research and development is financed either by the state or by the large corporations, while the small and medium-sized enterprises have limited access to such activities. The entities from the EU member states and the EU member candidates have now a wide choice of EU programs for financing their research and development activities. In this paper we provide an analysis of the possibilities of financing these activities using EU funds, and we compare the effectiveness of the EU member states in accessing these funds.