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Leveraging the power of civil society

Apply now: The Federal Foreign Office provides funding for civil society projects with Russia and Eastern Partnership countries.

Encounters in focus: German-Russian youth exchange in Berlin
Encounters in focus: German-Russian youth exchange in Berlin © Bettina Ausserhofer

What makes a civil society strong? And how can it promote dialogue and understanding, even beyond national borders? People searching for answers to these questions are using the hashtag #civilsocietycooperation to connect with one another on social media.

For 2022, the Federal Foreign Office is once again searching for organisations that wish to engage as partners of governance within the framework of its programme “Expanding Cooperation with Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia”. The programme targets a broad range of actors, and its regional orientation gives rise to considerable potential for activities.

From which countries are applications invited?

Funding can be provided for projects that are conducted in both Germany and at least one Eastern Partnership country – i.e. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine – or Russia. The fundamental prerequisite is that they should involve collaboration between one or more organisations from the aforementioned countries and a partner from Germany.

Since 2019 and 2020 respectively, partner organisations from Poland and France can additionally be included: the Federal Foreign Office also invites Franco-German, German-Polish or trilateral collaborations that are planning projects with Eastern Partnership countries or Russia to take part.

Which topics are eligible?

Projects focusing on a broad spectrum of topics can be funded: these include media projects such as basic and further training courses for journalists and bloggers, job shadowing programmes or projects aimed at improving media literacy. Projects that promote training and further education likewise have good chances of obtaining funding. Youth exchange is another focus. The current call for applications is intended first and foremost to encourage young people to critically engage with the legacy of the Second World War. The 2022 programme is also placing an emphasis on environmental and climate protection, which is why the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations are to be taken into account in the project’s conceptualisation and the various dimensions of sustainability are to be given greater consideration during work on the project. To strengthen vulnerable groups, funding in the coming year will once again be awarded especially to projects that address and/or explicitly involve members of disadvantaged social groups. Funding of women in civil society – particularly but not only in Belarus – will be another priority. In addition, the programme will be supporting projects that openly address territorial conflicts between the states taking part in the programme – and through their engagement highlight paths to reconciliation.

Over 4,000 project ideas have already been submitted since 2014, resulting in the funding of around 1,500 projects.

What should you consider when submitting your application?

Ideas for projects can be submitted to the Federal Foreign Office in German or English until 15 October 2021. Funding is normally granted for the period of one year, so projects should be concluded by 31 December 2022.


Information about the programme

Submit project ideas now

Join the network: #civilsocietycooperation