The European Union (EU) has a long-standing relationship and cooperation with civil society organisations worldwide.
CSOs play multiple roles in society. CSOs can give a voice to the poorest and most marginalised citizens to ensure their voices are heard; they can advocate change, collect data and monitor progress, serve as watchdogs and agents of accountability and, they can act as service delivery providers. Their distinct added value lies in their expertise, their proximity to citizens, and their knowledge derived from their different activities.
The EU provides support to civil society in Russia through the thematic programme “Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Local Authorities (LAs) 2014-2020”. The programme is the successor of the "Non-State Actors (NSAs) and Local Authorities in Development” thematic programme implemented in 2007- 2013.
The new programme allows CSOs to network amongst each other and with other relevant civil society actors and groups inside the country, to exchange best practice between Russian regions and with their EU partners, to experiment and develop effective services for vulnerable groups of population, to establish efficient partnerships with various stakeholders, including local authorities.
What are CSO projects in Russia?
CSO projects in Russia are implemented by Russian and European non-governmental, non-profit-making organisations. The EU allocates between 350 000 and 700 000 EUR to each project. Usually the grant beneficiary must co-finance at least 10% of the project costs from its own funds or from a grant awarded by another donor. Projects have the duration of between 24 and 48 months.
Ongoing projects funded under the thematic programme in question address the following issues:
How are CSO projects selected?
The projects are selected on the basis of the results of local, regional or global (worldwide) calls for proposals. The complete information of the calls is published on the following website of the European Commission. On this website anyone can find Guidelines for applicants for each CSO call for proposals. The Guidelines set out thematic priorities, specific modalities and other conditions of the calls. The selection is based on objective and transparent criteria, which are also indicated in the reference Guidelines.