Programme implementation agreement signed for the Active Citizens Fund in Greece

The programme implementation agreement for the Active Citizens Fund in Greece was signed on 22 January 2019.

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Key information about the programme

  • The programme is operated by: Bodossaki Foundation (lead) in consortium with Allileggie Solidarity Now 
  • The programme's objective is: Civil society and active citizenship strengthened and vulnerable groups empowered
  • The programme funding amounts to €12 million and is entirely funded through the EEA Grants. 

Why is the programme needed? 

The Active Citizens Fund in Greece reflects a firm recognition of the civil society sector’s role as a fundamental building block of democratic governance, human rights and social cohesion.  Civil society organisations (CSOs) mobilise participation in civic life and play a key role in promoting active citizen engagement in decision-making at local, national and European levels. CSOs tackle social problems arising from inequality and discrimination. They contribute to the activation and empowerment of disadvantaged people and minority groups, by helping them overcome barriers to participation and ensure that their voices are heard. 

While Greek CSOs play an important role in promoting active and engaged participation in public life and defending vulnerable and socially excluded groups, individual organizations face challenges impeding their ability to fulfil their missions. A limited number of CSOs are active beyond the local level, relatively few CSOs are professionalised, and a majority is concentrated in and operate around the Athens area. The financial and organizational capacity of many CSOs, especially those operating in rural areas and those representing minorities, is limited. Against the backdrop of the economic crisis, obtaining funding for longer-term and strategic activities has been challenging, which is a particular concern for organizations undertaking in watchdog and advocacy activities.  

What will the programme achieve and who are the beneficiaries?  

The ACF in Greece aims at addressing funding gaps, ensuring outreach to underserved geographical areas and target groups, and contributing to the enhanced capacity and sustainability of Greek civil society at various levels. The organisational sustainability of CSOs will be promoted through targeted capacity building activities offered by the Fund Operator. The institutional sustainability of the sector will be strengthened by promoting partnerships and networks, and by measures implemented to enhance the sector’s knowledge base. The capacity of civil society to advocate for improved policy will be fostered through calls for projects contributing to strengthening the sector’s watchdog and advocacy role, through trainings offered to CSOs on advocacy skills, and through facilitating links and cooperation between CSOs and policy bodies. In terms of target groups, emphasis is put on the empowerment and inclusion of vulnerable groups, including Roma, asylum-seekers and migrants (particularly unaccompanied minors). Youth inclusion is a key priority and is mainstreamed across the programme.  

The Active Citizens Fund in Greece covers the following five areas of support: (1) Democracy, active citizenship, good governance and transparency; (2) Human rights and equal treatment through combating any discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation or gender identity; (3) Social justice and inclusion of vulnerable groups; (4) Gender equality and gender-based violence; and (5) Environment and climate change.

How will the programme strengthen bilateral relations?  

The programme will contribute to strengthening bilateral relations between CSOs and other entities in Greece and in the Donor States, in line with the overall objectives of the Grants. Bilateral cooperation shall be mutually beneficial, based on a strategic and long-term perspective, and leveraging the respective strengths of entities in the Donor States and in Greece. Donor partnership projects will be facilitated through matchmaking events and activities in conjunction with the launch of calls for proposals and encouraged in call texts. Protection of human rights and empowerment of vulnerable groups with a focus on unaccompanied minors is identified among the priority topics for bilateral cooperation. A pre-defined project on youth empowerment will be undertaken with Fundatum (a Norwegian NGO) as a partner.

Availability of funding through open calls 

In addition to two pre-defined projects, the funding in this programme will be made available through the following open calls:

  • Call 1: Call for micro-grants, medium and large projects – Q1 2019 (closed) 
  • Call 2: Call for micro-grants, medium and large projects – Q4 2019 
  • Call 3: Call for micro-grants, medium and large projects – Q1/Q2 2020 
  • A separate, ongoing call for Bilateral Cooperation Initiatives is open from 21.02.2019 to 21.06.2024  

Precise timing of calls may be subject to change.  

More information can also be found on the Fund Operator’s website.