Marlene Holzner – Head of Civil Society Unit at DG INTPA
What is new? The “geographisation” logic: there’s a focus on bilateral cooperation. The starting point is now from the country perspective, that is where most of the money should be spent. The EU prefers to spend money directly in partner countries rather than in Europe (on NGO headquarters etc.).
The most interesting programme for Dutch NGOs in terms of budget is the thematic programme Civil Society Organisations. This is the only thematic programme with a clear mandate for civil society organisations as actors. It does not require the consent of the governments and other public authorities in the countries concerned and has a wide geographical coverage: Latin America, Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Pacific. There is also the Human Rights programme, which is targeted at a more restrictive pool of organisations. The Civil Society budget is targeted at a much broader audience: trade unions, business organisations, CSOs etc. Furthermore, the budget is a bit more flexible.
The Civil Society Unit has not yet started assessing NGO proposals. Global CSOs or association CSOs should apply for the money from the autumn onwards (when the call will be published). There will also be a second call for a consortium of CSOs, geared towards monitoring whether civic space is shrinking or not. This funding stream is also available for advocacy actions. As for the EU country offices, they will publish their CFPS this autumn or December. The most promising option is to give a particular country office a call and ask them about the CFPS that will be published.
It will be targeted at organisations that are working along the same lines as the EU (SDGs, for example). The funding is in the form of a secure yearly lump sum amount of money for a period of four years. This is for globally active CSOs. The focus is youth and women, which is why especially youth and women’s organisations will be asked to apply.
As for localisation, there’s been some changes made. Namely, the Commission wants to give money to local civil society in our countries. Currently, the largest share of the money goes to international/European NGOs. Under the new programme, they want to give the money to local organisations in partner countries, they are looking to do more with regard to subgranting (where we fund a European organisation that in turn funds a local CSO). Furthermore, in the past, a lot of money was provided for service delivery.
Jacques Perrot – IRC Brussels
On behalf of CONCORD, Jacques’ presentation is a bit broader. He first provides the context for the adoption of the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI). All in all, there is approximately 1.36 billion euros available for CSOs.
The main features of the new instrument are the following:
- This is one instrument combining features of more than 11 previous instruments
- Strategic focus on Africa and Neighbourhood
- Geographic scope is widened for strategic partnerships
- Cross-cutting priorities (migration, digitalisation, green deal, growth and jobs, governance peace and security)
- Flexibility and simplicity
- EP scrutiny, meaning increased accountability and predictability
The full powerpoint presentation can be found on the right side of this page.