Polish NGO fund launched in Warsaw
A €41.5 million NGO fund established through support from the EEA Grants donor states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway was launched at a seminar in Warsaw on 24 April, representing a considerable push for civil society development in Poland and opening up for easily-accessible grants to grassroots organisations over several years to come.
The Warsaw seminar, which brought together around 300 representatives from civil society organisations from Poland and the donor states, marked the starting point of the first calls for proposals under the NGO fund’s three focus areas: democracy and civil society, environmental protection and sustainable development, and equal opportunities and social integration. The Polish government contributes with 10 percent in co-financing to the fund.
Through open calls for proposals, about €12.6 million will be re-granted to applicants within each focus area, spread across several calls until early-2009. The first round of calls for proposals under the focus areas democracy and civil society and equal opportunities and social inclusion opens today, and will close on 8 June and 29 June respectively. The first call under the focus area protection of the environment opens on 24 July and closes on 28 September. The NGO fund opens for cooperation projects between Polish civil society organisations, including social partners, and their counterparts from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to further the aim of strengthening bilateral cooperation between Poland and the donor states.
"We hope to see results of the NGO fund through a multitude of projects and partnerships - that can make a difference for the development of Poland and enhance the cooperation between our two countries," the Norwegian ambassador to Poland, Knut Hauge, said at the opening.
Due to the considerable size and scope of the Polish NGO fund, the three focus areas are managed by two organisations with strong ties to civil society and the areas of intervention. The Co-operation Fund Foundation is responsible for the focus area of democracy and civil society, while Ecorys manages environmental protection and sustainable development, and equal opportunities and social integration.
• In order to visit the website of the Polish NGO Fund, click here.