€3.5m for Civil Society under the EEA grants Active citizens fund programme in Greece

Targeted at increasing citizen participation in civic activities and support for human rights.

Bodossaki Foundation and SolidarityNow, in their capacity as the Fund Operator of the Active Citizens Fund programme in Greece, announce the civil society organisations selected to receive a total of €3.5 million in grants for projects to increase citizen participation in civic activities and the support for human rights in the Greek society.

The Active Citizens Fund in Greece is supported through a € 12m grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as part of the EEA Grants 2014 – 2021. The programme aims to develop the sustainability and capacity of the civil society sector in Greece, and to strengthen its role in promoting and safeguarding democratic procedures, active citizenship and human rights.

A grant of €3.5 million is available for supporting the implementation of a total of 45 projects, selected from among 202 applications submitted in response to the programme’s two calls.

The selected projects will take place both in major urban centres (Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Heraklion, Ioannina, etc.) and in rural, island and remote areas (the Regions of Epirus, Western and Central Macedonia, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Cyclades, North and South Aegean, etc.), seeking to strengthen civil society throughout Greece. Some of the projects are country-wide, while others focus on strengthening local communities. The programme’s design enables organisations with little experience in project implementation, yet with a high social impact, to also have access to funding. Part of the funding will be allocated to capacity building activities towards the organisations that will implement the projects, thus contributing to the sustainability of the programme’s results.

The funded projects are addressed to – among others – students and their tutors, parents and guardians, young people, people with disabilities and people facing psychosocial difficulties, victims of torture and victims of human trafficking, asylum seekers and refugees, second-generation migrants, Roma, prisoners, the elderly, LGBTQI people, people living below the poverty line, etc.

The list of the 45 projects selected for funding has been posted on the programme’s website, here.

The next calls, 5. “Gender equality promoted and gender-based violence combatted, and
6. “Platforms and networks among CSOs developed” will be announced by the end of 2020. In addition, there will be emergency funding available to assist civil society organisations in their digital transformation, so that they can respond to the new conditions created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Project selection process

The projects are selected in a way that ensures transparency and merit-based assessment at all stages of the process. Projects are rated by independent scorers with experience in the field, while the selection committee also includes members outside the Fund Operator’s organisation. The Norwegian Embassy and the EEA National Contact Point in Greece participate as observers.

Mr Sotiris Laganopoulos, Active citizens fund Programme Officer in Greece, made the following statement:

“At Bodossaki Foundation, we believe that the citizens’ well-being can only come about through a politically conscious society and, with this in mind, we are proud of the fact that the second round of grants under the ACF programme supports projects that promote civic participation and the protection of human rights, both of which are fundamental to the functioning of a democratic society. With the current grant of €3.5 million under the ACF programme, 45 implementing bodies and 27 partners will carry out, throughout Greece, projects that highlight the importance of human rights at individual and collective level, as well as the obligations that arise from our role as citizens.”

Ms Antigone Lyberaki, General Manager of SolidarityNow, pointed out the following:

“At SolidarityNow, as participants in the management and implementation of the Active citizens fund programme, together with Bodossaki Foundation, we are very pleased that over the coming years we will be supporting 64 additional civil society organisations so that they, in turn, will be able to support a total of 45 projects, initiatives and people, working to protect human rights and increase civic participation. We come to substantially strengthen two important pillars of the State and of Democracy. The projects to be supported are spread throughout the country: from Western Macedonia and Thrace to the Peloponnese, the Cyclades and South Aegean. Without excluding anyone: students, tutors, young people, people with disabilities, victims of torture, asylum seekers and refugees, Roma, the elderly, LGBTQI people, and people living below the poverty line. For us, an open and cohesive society is the quickest way to improve people’s lives, especially the lives of those who are most vulnerable.”


About Bodossaki Foundation:

Bodossaki Foundation is a public benefit organisation founded in 1972 with the aim of continuing the contribution of its founder, Prodromos-Bodossakis Athanassiades, to the Greek society. The Foundation’s vision is a society of equal opportunities, with potential and prospects for all. To promote its vision, Bodossaki Foundation funds, plans and implements, in full alignment with the principles of transparency, accountability and integrity, actions and programmes of relevance to its four strategic pillars: supporting education, strengthening healthcare, protecting the environment and empowering Civil Society.

Today, Bodossaki Foundation also acts as a catalyst for fostering a broader culture of social contribution in the Greek society, managing third-party resources (re-granting) on behalf of grantors wishing to fund programmes with a strong social impact. For more information, see here.

About SolidarityNow:

SolidarityNow (SN) is a non-governmental organisation established in 2013 to meet the needs and safeguard the rights of the most vulnerable and marginalised groups, without discrimination. The organisation’s headquarters are located in Athens, while a numerous of its wide-reaching actions are implemented in Thessaloniki and in the rest of the country. The organisation’s vision is to improve people’s lives and empower them to claim a fairer and more inclusive society. Our vision is realised through three main strategic pillars: a) Defending security and security, b) supporting livelihood opportunities and integration into the labour market, c) strengthening the independence of civil society and defending the values of an open society. SolidarityNow has so far supported 300,000 people, by directly implementing programmes as well as by way of donations made to support civil society actions. Through its donations, SN has so far supported civil society organisations in implementing 73 projects, with a total budget of €14.4 million.
For more information, see here.