Invitation to bid: Fund Operator for the Active Citizens Fund–Regional in Poland (INITIAL TENDER)

The Financial Mechanism Office – the secretariat of the EEA and Norway Grants – is seeking a Fund Operator to develop and implement the Active Citizens Fund-Regional, the EEA Grants programme for civil society at the regional level in Poland, for the period 2014-2021. This is the invitation to bid.

ACF-Regional Poland

Background information

The EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021 represent funding from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to reduce economic and social disparities and strengthen cooperation with 15 EU countries in Northern, Central and Southern Europe. For the period 2014-2021, a total contribution of €2.8 billion has been agreed.

As described in article 3.2.b of Protocol 38c of the EEA agreement, funding shall be earmarked for support to civil society organisations in each of the 15 beneficiary states.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the implementation of the 2014-21 EEA and Norway Grants Financial Mechanisms, signed by the three donor states (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Poland on 20 December 2017, specifies that there are two Active Citizens Funds in Poland, the Active Citizens Fund-National and the Active Citizens Fund-Regional. The Financial Mechanism Office (FMO), the Brussels-based secretariat for the EEA and Norway Grants, shall be Programme Operator of both Funds, and they shall have different Fund Operators.

Programme allocation and objective

The allocation to the Active Citizens Fund–Regional in Poland for the period 2014-2021 is EUR23,000,000 (see Memorandum of Understanding).

See the video on YouTube.

The objective of the Civil Society Programme Area is: ‘Civil society and active citizenship strengthened and vulnerable groups empowered’. The Active Citizens Fund–Regional shall seek to develop the long-term sustainability and capacity of the civil society sector, with the aim of strengthening its role in promoting democratic participation, active citizenship and human rights outside the capital city of Warsaw. More information on the objectives, principles, thematic areas of support and design of the programme can be found in the Terms of Reference (see link below).

Submission of bid

The Fund Operator will be responsible for the development and implementation the Active Citizens Fund - Regional in Poland. The Terms of Reference, Bid form and annexes are provided in the links below. The deadline for submission of bids is 4 February 2019 at 12:00 (noon) CET.

The FMO is organising plenary information sessions for potential applicants for the Fund Operator role in several different locations in Poland:

  • Warsaw on 10 December at 13:00 (Intercontinental Hotel, Emilii Plater 49, 00- 125 Warszawa);
  • Krakow on 11 December at 10:30 (Vienna House Andel Krakow, ul. Pawia 3, 31-154 Krakow);
  • Lublin on 12 December at 10:00 (Hotel Ilan, ul. Lubartowska 85, 20-123 Lublin);
  • Gdansk on 17 December at 13:30 (Scandic Hotels Gdańsk, Podwale Grodzkie 9, 80-895 Gdańsk) cancelled due to non-participation; and
  • Poznan on 18 December at 10:00 (Sheraton Poznań Hotel, Bukowska 3/9, 60-809 Poznań).

The information sessions will be in English and will take the form of a presentation by the FMO on the requirements of the FO role and the tender process, followed by a questions and answers session.

If you are interested in attending one of the information sessions, please use this sign-up sheet to register: ACF-Regional Info Sessions.

Please note that the information sessions will only provide information about the tender process and requirements for the role of Fund Operator. No information on funding for projects will be available until after a Fund Operator has been contracted. This information session is not for discussion or input on the content of the programme. After the Fund Operator is selected, a stakeholder consultation will be organized.

Questions regarding the tender documents and bid process

Please consult the frequently asked questions document on the EEA and Norway Grants website for extensive guidance on the tender documents and bid process. In the interest of transparency and fairness, questions regarding the tender and responses to them are made publicly available in the ‘Questions and Answers’ document. Further questions regarding the tender can be addressed to Please specify the country and organisation name in the subject line of your email (see section 6.4 of the Terms of Reference for further information on submission of and responses to questions). 

Bid documents:

Terms of Reference  

Annex A: Bid Form

Annex B: Budget

Annex C: Template Programme Implementation Agreement  

Annex D: Suggested Outcomes and Outcome Indicators for the Active Citizens Fund

Annex E: Manual for Fund Operators of the Active Citizens Fund

Annex F: Reference documents, provided for bidder’s information (see Terms of Reference)