Active Citizens Fund Romania is part of the EEA and Norway Grants 2014 - 2021, funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in 15 EU Member States in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics. The objectives of the EEA and Norway Grants are to reduce economic and social disparities, and to strengthen bilateral relations between the beneficiary countries and the Donor States. Support to civil society is a key priority for the EEA and Norway Grants 2014 - 2021, therefore, ten percent of the total country allocations are set aside for a programme for civil society in each beneficiary, called Active Citizens Fund. It 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 donor countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and the European Union.
Strengthening civil society and active citizenship and empowering vulnerable groups
The funding programme seeks developing the long-term sustainability and capacity of the civil society sector, enhance its role in promoting democratic participation, active citizenship and human rights while strengthening bilateral relations with the donor states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Active Citizens Fund Romania is administered by a Consortium composed of Civil Society Development Foundation, Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation, Resource Center for Roma Communities, PACT Foundation and Frivillighet Norge, appointed by the FMO as Fund operator in an open and competitive tender process.
- 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 (GBV)
- Environment and climate change
- Developing NGOs’ capacity
- NGOs established under the Government Ordinance 26/2000 and/or the Law 21/1924
- National Red Cross Society in Romania and its structures with legal personality
- County and Bucharest municipality foundations for youth and the National Youth Foundation
- NGOs from Romania, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Moldova, Ukraine and Serbia
- Public entities established as a legal person (such as local and central public authorities, public institutions / agencies, decentralized governmental public services, territorial administrative units, universities, etc.)
- Private entities established as a legal person
- International organisations or agencies or bodies thereof
Strengthening the capacity and sustainability of the civil society sector
- 10.5% of the re-granting amount is allocated to Calls for proposals supporting the capacity building of NGOs
- Funds dedicated to the medium and long term development of the networks and coalitions activities within the above-mentioned areas of support, as well as of the human rights NGOs
- Up to 20% of the project budget can be allocated for activities that contribute to the organizational development of the grant beneficiaries
- Policy monitoring, advocacy and watchdog activities are supported
- Strategic partnerships between NGOs are encouraged
- The programme includes a pre-defined strategic project for the development of youth leadership in NGOs
Increased support for underserved target groups and geographical areas
- 33% of the re-granting amount is allocated for the empowerment of vulnerable groups, youth inclusion being a priority
- The programme includes 3 calls for projects with continuous and simplified implementation for small projects in underserved geographical areas and for small NGOs
- 10% of the grant budget is allocated for the inclusion of Roma people and their increased capacity
The programme encourages, through Regional Civil Society Initiatives, the exchange of knowledge, the development of regional networks, the promotion of mutual learning, the adoption and use of knowledge and best practices to strengthen the civil society sector in beneficiary countries.
The International Civil Society Forum was the first important activity within the Civil Society Regional Initiatives; it took place on 4 June 2019 in the context of the Romanian Presidency at the Council of the European Union.