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Frontpage News 2013 Supporting civil society in Romania

Launch of NGO programme in Romania 18 April 2013
Photographer: Norwegian Embassy in Bucharest

Supporting civil society in Romania

Amounting to € 30 million, the newly launched programme for non-governmental organisations in Romania is now the most important source of funding for the NGO sector in the country.

The EEA Grants’ NGO programme in Romania is set up to support development of a dynamic, active and well-structured civil society capable of effectively addressing citizens’ needs and democratic concerns. A wide range of areas will be covered by the programme,such as:

  • provision of welfare and basic services for socially excluded groups
  • sustainable development
  • participatory democracy and human rights
  • NGO capacity building.

“We have created a financing model whereby each organization could find a way to fund its projects”, said Ionut Sibian, the head of the fund operator, during the launch of the NGO programme in Romania which took place on April 18, in Bucharest.

Due to the narrowing down of the funding areas by other donors and to the bottlenecks generated by the EU structural funds, many NGOs in Romania have experienced difficult moments which affected their activity and at times it even jeopardized their existence as organizations. The programme was therefore received with great interest. More than 450 participants attended the launch.

Roma inclusion and tolerance
Minimum 10 % of the entire allocation will target the improvement of the situation of the Roma population. Issues such as hate speech, extremism – hate crime, racism, xenophobia and homophobia shall be addressed as horizontal concerns. More details about the programme, including a tentative calendar of opening the calls are available here.
The call for proposals under the fund for bilateral relations between Romania and donor state entities is already open and details can be found here. The funds’ aim is to increase the cooperation between Romanian NGOs and donor countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). Through this call Romanian NGOs can receive support to find partners from the donor countries.

Partnerships with NGOs from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
Strengthening relations between Romanian and NGO in the donor states – Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway -  is one of the overarching objectives of the programme.
“This funding offers us the possibility to continue our work and the good cooperation with our Norwegian partner”, the head of Prader Willi Association in Romania stated. The NGO benefited from funding under the previous round of the EEA and Norway Grants. With support from the Grants, the largest and best equipped center for rare diseases in South Eastern Europe was established.

More than 25 NGOs from donor states were present in Bucharest aiming at establishing contact or at continuing previous cooperation with Romanian NGOs.

The Norwegian Red Cross was present. Together with their Romanian counterpart they have had several successful projects, the latest one being a blood donation campaign which was to start the day following the launch and which will continue in Bucharest all throughout May.The Norwegian Helsinki Committee also took part in the event as the contact point towards the Norwegian civil society. Special funding for partner search and development of projects has been set aside to facilitate partnerships. A match making event between Norwegian and Romanian NGO’s was organized the day after the launching conference.  

Calls for proposals
A consortium led by the Civil Society Development Foundation (CSDF) has been appointed as the operator for the NGO programme in Romania.

  • The funding will be allocated based on calls for proposals. Information on open calls for proposals will be made available on the website of the programme operator.
  • An overview of open calls under the EEA and Norway Grants is to be found here.
  • In the near future five regional info sessions will take place in bigger cities in Romania. Follow the website of the operator for more information.