Programme implementation agreements signed for Active Citizens Fund and Civil Society Pre-defined Projects in Cyprus

The Programme Implementation Agreement for Active Citizens Fund in Cyprus was signed on 18 May 2022, and the Programme Implementation Agreement for Civil Society Pre-defined Projects in Cyprus was signed 31 March 2020.

Key information about the programme

  1. The Active Citizens Fund programme is operated by: Kentro Styrixis Mi Kyvernitikon Organismon (NGO Support Centre) in partnership with GrantXpert Consulting Limited. 

  2. The Civil Society Pre-defined Projects programme is operated by: GrantXpert Consulting Limited and will comprise two pre-defined projects: ‘Home for Cooperation’ and ‘Centre of Visual Arts and Research’, published on 2 September 2019. 
  3. Both programmes’ objective is: Civil society and active citizenship strengthened and vulnerable groups empowered. 
  4. The Active Citizens Fund in Cyprus will receive €1.5 million in funding while the Civil Society Pre-defined Projects will receive €1.2 million. The total funding of both programmes amounts to €2.7 million and is funded entirely by the EEA Grants.

Why is the programme needed?

These two programmes in Cyprus reflect 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. 

The challenging context of political situation in Cyprus has kept the sector under-developed.  The lack of available funds, limited visibility for smaller civil society organisations, and bicommunal conflict remain the main challenges for the sector in the country. Nevertheless, civil society organisations in Cyprus have played a key role in breaking down barriers, contributing to trust and fostering peacebuilding between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities. As CSOs which promote public interests remain relatively new, strengthening their capacity across the divide and enhancing their sustainability will contribute to greater bicommunal cooperation. Strengthened and capable CSOs can reach vulnerable target groups and build structures of cooperation and representation, establishing the road to reconciliation. 

What will the programmes achieve and who are the beneficiaries? 

The programmes will strengthen the capacity and sustainability of the civil society sector in both Turkish-Cypriot and Greek-Cypriot communities. Efforts will focus on fundraising, strategy development, and human resource management to help strengthen civic infrastructure and the voice of civil society. The Fund Operator will undertake extensive measures to ensure outreach to underserved geographic areas and target groups, with a strong focus on bicommunal cooperation and specific capacity building activities. The programmes will also focus on building partnerships and supporting intercultural dialogue with CSOs that are operating in the areas of the Republic of Cyprus that are not under the control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus. The programmes will aim to foster cooperation and mutual understanding between the two communities, making a meaningful contribution towards peace and reconciliation. 

The Active Citizens Fund in Cyprus covers the following three areas of support: 

  • Democracy, active citizenship, good governance, and transparency 
  • 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 
  • Social justice and inclusion of vulnerable groups 

How will the programmes strengthen bilateral relations? 

The programmes will contribute to strengthening bilateral relations between CSOs and other entities in the Republic of Cyprus and the Donor States, in line with the overall objective of the Grants. The programmes shall facilitate partnerships by carrying out matchmaking events and activities in conjunction with launching calls for proposals, as well as by encouraging donor partnership projects in call texts. Through these partnerships and bridge building events the Fund Operator will work in close cooperation with the donor contact points, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Icelandic Centre for Human Rights.  

Availability of funding through open calls 

The funding for the Active Citizens Fund programme will be made available through one open call with three separate outcomes, two of which offer both small and large grants.  

Download the full programme implementation agreement for the Active Citizens Fund in Cyprus for more detailed information about the programmes and the full programme implementation agreement for the Civil Society Pre-defined Projects. 

More information about the programmes and upcoming calls can be found on the Fund Operator’s website