One of the goals of the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 is the strengthening of bilateral relations between NGOs in Greece and entities in the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) with a view to promoting project partnerships and joint activities, the exchange of knowledge and best practices.

Through the Active Citizens Fund in Greece, a total of € 200,000 will be allocated to support bilateral cooperation initiatives.

Bilateral cooperation refers to networking, exchange, strengthening cooperation, sharing and transfer of knowledge, technology, experience and best practice between NGOs in Greece and entities in the donor states. Search for partners prior to or during the preparation of a project proposal, the development of such partnerships and the preparation of an application for a donor partnership project to be submitted under the ACF open calls, also enhances bilateral cooperation.

An open Call for Bilateral Cooperation Initiatives was announced on February 21st, 2019 and will remain open until June 30th, 2023, 12:00pm EET, or until the exhaustion of the available funds, whichever occurs first. The total amount allocated to support initiatives through the open call is € 92,000.

In addition to the open call for Bilateral Cooperation Initiatives, the Fund Operator will organize matchmaking events and workshops during the launch of each round of open calls for proposals, between Greek CSOs and entities from the Donor States. Such events aim to establish direct contacts among CSOs and participants from the donor states to exchange ideas on specific topics of common interest, relevant to the priorities of the Active Citizens Fund. The first matchmaking workshop was organized on February 22nd , 2019, with the participation of 5 organizations from Norway (Norwegian Centre against Racism, Norwegian organization for asylum seekers-NOAS, European Anti-Poverty Network, Fundatum, Norwegian Helsinki Committee) and 1 organization from Iceland (Icelandic Human Rights Centre).

Finally, a total of 5 thematic field trips with representatives of Greek CSOs visiting CSOs and other entities in the Donor States, will be organized by the Fund Operator throughout the implementation of the programme. The first thematic field trip is expected to take place in 2020.

The Active Citizens Fund in Greece, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Icelandic Human Rights Centre shall facilitate contacts and cooperation initiatives between Greek NGOs and entities from the Donor States. A partnership database has also been established by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee in order to facilitate the search for potential partners.