'Active Civil Society for Europe' is part of the 'Europe for Citizens' programme, which aims to bridge the gap between citizens and the EU by providing instruments to promote active European citizenship. Action 2 is targeted at civil society, and in particular to foster action, debate and reflection related to EU citizenship and democracy
shared values, common history and culture through co-operation within civil society organisations at EU level.
It supports civil society organisations and think tanks, as unique links between European citizens and the EU. Civil society organisations at European, national, regional and local levels are important elements of citizens' active participation in society and help to invigorate all aspects of public life. European public policy research organisations have a specific role to play in providing ideas and reflections on European issues, on active European citizenship or on European values and in feeding the debate at European level.
Europe for Citizens has four Actions:
1. Active citizens for Europe (town twinning, citizens' projects and support measures)
2. Active civil society in Europe
3. Together for Europe (high visibility events, studies, surveys and opinion polls, information and dissemination tools)
4. Active European Remembrance (preservation of the main sites and archives associated with the deportations and the commemoration of the victims)
Action 2. Active civil society in Europe has three measures:
Measure 1: Structural support for European public policy research organisations (think-tanks)
This measure is aimed at strengthening the institutional capacity of European public policy research organisations (think tanks), which are able to provide new ideas and reflections on European issues, on active European citizenship or on European values.
Measure 2: Structural support for civil society organisations at European level
This measure will provide civil society organisations of European dimension with the capacity and stability to develop their activities at European level. The purpose is to contribute to the emergence of a structured, coherent and active civil society at European level.
Measures 1 and 2 offer structural support, also referred to as operating grants, to organisations, pursuing an aim of general European interest. Operating grants provide financial support to costs necessary for the proper conduct of the normal and permanent activities of the organisations selected.
In order to enhance long term planning and provide greater financial security for organisations, there is now also the possibility of multi-annual parntership.
Objectives for the call for structural support are:
– Foster action, debate and reflection related to European citizenship and democracy, shared values, common history and culture through cooperation within civil society organisations at European level
– Encourage interaction between citizens and civil society organisations from all participating countries, contributing to intercultural dialogue and bringing to the fore both Europe's diversity and unity.
Themes: Organisations should work around the following themes: future of the EU, active European citizenship, intercultural dialogue, impact of European policies in societies, people's well being in Europe, employment social cohesion and sustainable development.
Measure 3: Support for projects initiated by civil society organisations
The aim of this measure is to support cooperation on concrete projects of civil society organisations from different participating countries. A variety of organisations, established at local, regional, national or European level, can be involved.
These projects should raise awareness on issues of European interest and on concrete solutions that can be found through co-operation and co-ordination at European level. Projects should correspond to at least one of the following features: action, debate, reflection, networking.
– All stakeholders promoting active European citizenship. For example: local authorities and organisations, European public policy research organisations (think-tanks), citizens' groups, civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations, trade unions, educational institutions, organisations active in the field of voluntary work, organisations active in the field of amateur sport, etc. Some actions of the Programme are however targeting a more limited range of organisations.
– Be from 27 EU Member States. The programme can also be opened to other countries, according to the agreements signed: EFTA countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway; Candidate countries: Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Turkey; Countries from the Western Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia (incl. Kosovo).