Launch of Funding Programme to Strengthen Civil Society

With the establishment of a new funding programme, an alliance of 16 foundations in Europe, including the Körber Foundation, is responding to the shrinking space for civil society in Europe.

Civitates aims to support civil society organisations from EU member states and EFTA countries to come together and create strong national coalitions and to promote joint activities by actors from civil society with which they can effectively meet the challenges related to the increasingly shrinking space for civil society in many European countries.

The call will be in two phases. The first phase will provide resources to the initial partners to reach out to potential new partners from different sectors and geographies within one country to reinforce their coalition. The second phase will be dedicated to implementing actions to address the shrinking space for civil society. Partners can apply for funding for the operational implementation of joint activities and measures to strengthen their social role and to effectively address current challenges, such as curtailment of their freedom of action, funding opportunities or participation in public discourse, so that they can continue to work together for their various social concerns and maintain their watchdog role.

The Körber Foundation is a founding member of this initiative, as the values of a liberal, open and democratic social order have formed the framework of its operational work for many years. The value of an independent civil society in Europe is demonstrated by the EUSTORY History Network, in which clubs, associations, foundations and committed teachers are dependent on an open society if they want to support pupils in researching their local and family history in order to actively contribute to their countries' culture of remembrance.

The application deadline for the first funding phase of the Civitates programme ends on 15 June 2018. The funding programme is run by NEF, the Network for European Foundations; all details on Civitates, the funding criteria and the exact call for proposals can be found here.

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