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Europe for Citizens - Civil Society

Civil Society Projects explore innovative methods of citizens’ participation. The Civil Society Projects aims to support a variety of projects of a transnational and cross-sectoral dimension, directly involving citizens. Those projects should gather citizens from different horizons, who will act together or debate on common European issues, at local and European level.

This third measure is part of the Strand 2. Democratic engagement and civic participation within the “Europe for Citizens” 2014-2020 programme. This strand aims to foster European citizenship and improve conditions for civic and democratic participation at EU level, to encourage democratic participation of citizens at EU level and to support concrete participation in the EU policy-making process. 
The Civil Society Projects measure is directed at activities involving citizens and at bringing together people from local communities across Europe to share and exchange experiences, opinions and values, to learn from history and to build for the future. It encourages meetings, exchanges and debates among European citizens from different countries and through different means.

Volunteering is an essential element in active citizenship: by giving one’s time for the benefit of others, volunteers service their community and play an active role in society. They develop the sense of belonging to a community thereby also gaining ownership. Volunteering is therefore a particularly powerful means to develop citizens’ commitment to their society and to its political life. Civil society organisations, associations of a European general interest, town twinning associations and other participating organisations often rely on volunteer work to carry out and to develop their activities. Therefore, particular attention is paid to the promotion of volunteering, in particular through the European Solidarity Corps.
In its first phase, the European Solidarity Corps, the new EU initiative which aims at giving young people across the EU the opportunity to volunteer where help is needed and to respond to crisis situations, will build on existing EU programmes including the Europe for Citizens programme. In this context, project promoters are encouraged to make use of the European Solidarity Corps. 
Promoters making use of members of the European Solidarity Corps must comply with the requirements laid down by the European Solidarity Corps Charter, including the requirement relating to the insurance of the members. Indeed, within the framework of the Europe for Citizens Programme, the Agency does not provide directly or indirectly an insurance coverage to the volunteers/members used by the promoters for their projects. It is therefore for each promoter to ensure that the volunteers/members they are making use of are properly insured for their activities. 
All the eligible countries within the Europe for Citizens programme can participate to the European Solidarity Corps initiative.


2.3 – Civil Society Projects
The specific objectives are to support projects gathering citizens in activities directly linked to EU policies, providing an opportunity for direct participation in the policy making process.
A Civil Society Project must include at least two of the following three types of activities:
– promotion of societal engagement and solidarity: activities able to promoting debate/campaigns/actions on the themes of common interest in the larger framework of the rights and responsibilities of the Union citizens and making the link to the European political agenda and policy making process;
– gathering of opinions: activities aiming at gathering the individual opinions of the citizens on a specific topic to be yearly defined, favouring a bottom up approach (including the use of social networks, webinars, etc.) and media literacy;
– volunteering: activities promoting solidarity among Union citizens and beyond.


Applicant and partners
– Type of organisation: non-profit organisations, including civil society organisations, educational, cultural or research institutions, other organisations involved in the project can also be public local/regional authorities.
– Number of Partners: A project must involve organisations from at least 3 eligible countries of which at least two are an EU Member State.

Maximum eligible grant for a project: 150 000 EUR.
The activities must take place in any of the eligible countries.
The project must start within the relevant eligibility period.
Maximum project duration is 18 months.


Particpating countries
– 28 EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.
– Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo.
For British applicants: please be aware that eligibility criteria must be complied with for the entire duration of the grant. If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU during the grant period without concluding an agreement with the EU ensuring in particular that British applicants continue to be eligible, British applicants will cease to receive EU funding (while continuing, where possible, to participate) or be required to leave the project.
The Programme is potentially open to the following categories of countries provided that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commission:
a) acceding countries, candidate countries and potential candidates, in accordance with the general principles and general terms and conditions for the participation of those countries in Union programmes established in the respective Framework Agreements, Association Council Decisions or similar Agreements;
b) the EFTA countries party to the EEA Agreement, in accordance with the provisions of that Agreement. 


Deadline: 1 September 2020, 17:00 CET, for projects starting between 1 March 2021 and 31 August 2021.


Find out more


For more information, please contact the Europe for Citizens Point in your country.