Support to civil society is a key priority for the EEA Grants 2014-2021, funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in 15 EU Member States in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics. Ten per cent of the total country allocations is set aside for a programme for civil society in each beneficiary state. The Active Citizens Fund is established under the priority sector ‘Culture, Civil Society, Good Governance and Fundamental Rights and Freedoms’, one of the five priority sectors agreed between the donors and the European Union. The fund shall contribute to the overall objectives of the EEA and Norway Grants, to reduce economic and social disparities, and to strengthen bilateral relations between the beneficiary and donor states. The Open Estonia Foundation in consortium with the Network of Estonian Non-profit Organisations (NENO) have been selected as the Fund Operator of the Active Citizens Fund in Estonia. Between 2019 and 2023 a total of more than 6 million EUR will be available for Estonian CSOs through open calls for proposals and other measures.
The objective of the Active Citizens Fund is: “Civil society and active citizenship strengthened and vulnerable groups empowered”. The Programme will seek to develop the long-term sustainability and capacity of the civil society sector, strengthening its role in promoting democratic participation, active citizenship and human rights, and empowerment of vulnerable groups.
The Programme will be implemented by way of seven open calls for proposals. In addition, there will be activities aimed at capacity building during project preparation and project implementation phases conducted by consortium partner NENO.
The projects funded through the Programme shall contribute to the following Outcomes:
- Strengthened democratic culture and civic awareness
- Increased support for human rights and equal treatment
- Vulnerable groups empowered
- Enhanced capacity and sustainability of civil society
Projects focusing on the following five areas are eligible for 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
- Gender equality and gender-based violence
- Environment and climate change
Detailed information on which Areas of Support are eligible under which Outcomes is available in the Guidelines for Applicants and Project Promoters of the Active Citizens Fund Estonia.
More info about the EEA Grants at www.eeagrants.org