Grants available for NGO projects in Poland
The largest fund financed by the EEA and Norway Grants is the Polish NGO fund. For the time being it has ongoing calls for projects concerning environmental protection and sustainable development, as well as equal opportunities and social integration. In the future, we might also see funds specifically targeting social dialogue.
Specific funds for civil society organisations have been set up in 12 of the 15 beneficiary states to support NGO activities. In Poland, the €41.5 million NGO fund is divided into three focus areas. The third and final call for environmental projects is now open for €2.6 million in grants, an amount which may be increased due to unused resources from the previous calls. The same amount is also on call for projects related to equal opportunities and social integration
The environmental component of the NGO fund is aimed at raising awareness of the need of sustainable development as well as creating the possibilities for social actions and involvement on the local and regional level. Partnerships are encouraged between NGOs working within the environmental protection sector and local and regional authorities responsible for implementing EU and national regulations concerning environmental protection.
The component for equal opportunities and social integration support projects to improve the situation of groups faced with social exclusion and help them reintegrate into society. Grants are awarded to projects that seek to solve social problems in local societies, increase social involvement and create equal opportunities for disadvantaged groups.
Polish NGOs are invited to submit their proposals for environmental projects until 6 March 2009. The deadline for submitting proposals for social projects is 27 March 2009. Applications should be submitted to fund manager ECORYS Polska. Detailed information on the procedures for applying is available on the web site of the NGO fund: www.funduszngo.pl.
Supporting NGOs in the enlarged EU
NGO funds are in place in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. In total, over €84million will be channelled to civil society organisations across Central and Southern Europe through NGO funds.
Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are currently negotiating new grant schemes with the European Commission. Norway recently suggested toearmark funding for projects related to social dialogue in a future grant scheme. Though trade union organisations have been eligible to apply under the current NGO fund, Norway would like to further strengthen the social partners' possibilities through establishing a specific fund to promote a tripartite dialogue.