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Operating grants - Structural support for European think tanks and for civil society organisations at European level - EACEA/33/2017
Date de clôture : 18 oct. 2017  

 Héritage culturel
 Europe pour les citoyens


Please note that the standard grant agreements/decisions of the Agency are currently under revision due to the entry into force of the new Financial Regulation and its Rules of Application as from 1 January 2018. For this reason, the draft grant agreements/decisions related to this call are sent as an example and consequently the Agency reserves the right to introduce changes or additional details subject to the adoption of the final text of the Financial Regulation and Rules of Application. In this case the Agency will announce the changes as soon as possible and at the latest before the signature of the grant agreements or grant decisions.

1. Introduction

The European Union is made of its citizens and for its citizens. Encouraging and facilitating their involvement and active participation in the construction of a stronger Union as well as enabling them to understand of the Union's history and the values it is built on is of high importance The European citizenship is an inherent element in strengthening and safeguarding the process of European integration

The Europe for Citizens programme (1) adopted for the period 2014-2020 is a key instrument in this context. It aims to contribute to citizens' understanding of the Union, its history and diversity, to foster European citizenship and to improve conditions of enjoying the rights and privileges of being a European citizen.

The aim of the present call for proposals is to select organisations with European outreach which, through their perma­ nent, usual and regular activities, make a tangible contribution to the objectives of the ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme.

Selected organisations will receive structural support, referred to as operating grants. The operating grants will co- finance the operating expenses that enable a body to have an independent existence and to implement a range of activi­ ties within the programme's objectives. Organisations receiving operating grants should ensure a maximum visibility to the widest audience possible through the activities and the dissemination plan they foresee. Outreach at regional and local level, as well as to young people, is particularly encouraged.

Support is granted to organisations in the form of Framework Partnerships for three years (2018-2020) awarded further to this call for proposals. Framework Partnerships are cooperation mechanisms established between a particular organi­ sation and the Education, Audiovisual & Culture Executive Agency. Under these Framework Partnerships, annual operat­ ing grants will be awarded every year, based on annual work programmes to be submitted by the organisation.


2. Objectives and priorities
The specific objectives of the programme are:

  • —  to raise awareness of remembrance, common history and values and the Union's aim that is to promote peace, its values and the well-being of its peoples by stimulating debate, reflection and development of networks (strand 1),
  • —  to encourage democratic and civic participation of citizens at Union level, by developing citizens' understanding of the Union policymaking-process and promoting opportunities for societal and intercultural engagement and volun­ teering at Union level (strand 2).

Within the above objectives, the thematic priorities are as follows:

Specific priorities for European Remembrance (strand 1)


1. Commemorations of major historical turning points in recent European history:



1918 — The end of WWI – the rise of nation states and the failure to create European cooper­ ation and peaceful coexistence

1938/1939 — Beginning of WWII

1948 — Beginning of the Cold War

1948 — The Hague Congress and the integration of Europe

1968 — Protest and civil rights movements, invasion in Czechoslovakia, student protests and anti-Semitic campaign in Poland



1979 — European Parliament elections – also 40 years since the first directly elected EP in 1979

1989 — Democratic revolutions in central and eastern Europe and the fall of the Berlin wall 2004 — 15 years of EU enlargement into central and eastern Europe



1950 — Robert Schuman Declaration
1990 — German reunification
2000 — Proclamation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights



2. Civil society and civic participation under totalitarian regimes

3. Anti-Semitism, Anti-Gypsyism, xenophobia, homophobia and other forms of intolerance: drawing the lessons for today

4. Democratic transition and accession to the European Union


Specific priorities for ‘Democratic engagement and civic participation’ (strand 2)

  1. Debating the future of Europe and challenging Euroscepticism

  2. Promoting solidarity in times of crisis

  3. Fostering intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding and combatting the stigmatisation of migrants and minority groups


3. Eligibility criteria
3.1. Eligible applicants
3.1.1. Categories of organisations
To be eligible for a framework-partnership, the organisations must belong to one of the following categories:

A. Civil society organisations for European remembrance (strand 1):

Organisations carrying out activities reflecting on causes of totalitarian regimes in Europe's modern history and commemorating the victims of their crimes.

Organisations implementing activities concerning other defining moments and reference points in recent European history.

Organisations focusing on the common values of the EU: raising citizens' awareness on the importance of maintain­ ing and promoting democratic values in Europe, i.e. through the memory of European personalities such as the founding fathers of the European project or others who have made a significant contribution to later stages of Euro­ pean construction.

B. Civil society organisations working at European level (strand 2):

Umbrella organisations, networks and other civil society organisations encouraging democratic and civic participa­ tion of citizens at Union level, by developing citizens' understanding of the Union policymaking-process and pro­ moting opportunities for civic engagement at Union level.

C. European think tanks (strand 1 or 2):

These organisations provide a link between research and policymaking at European level. They help to find solutions to problems and facilitate interaction between scientists, intellectuals and decision-makers. The call targets think tanks that essentially focus on the objectives and priorities of the Europe for Citizens programme, performing activi­ ties that go beyond mere research and are not aimed exclusively at specialist groups. The think tanks should have a clear transnational activity, reaching also out to local and regional audience. In particular, open and free debate and access to objective information should be supported.

D. Platforms of pan-European organisations (strand 2):

Platforms are organisations whose members are themselves umbrella organisations on a European level. These plat­ forms of pan-European organisations represent a very large number of European citizens and cover a wide range of policy domains.


The activities of the selected organisations must aim to contribute to a better shared future of civic participation while recalling the importance of the fundamental values at the heart of the European project.

The organisations should have a clear transnational activity, reaching also out to local and regional audience.

Common rules for eligible applicants under A-D above

This call is open to organisations which are:

  1. (a)  non-profit organisations;

  2. (b)  playing an active role in the field of European citizenship as defined in their articles of association or mission state­ ment and correspond to one of the categories mentioned above;

  3. (c)  legally established and with legal personality for at least four years (at 1.11.2017) in an eligible country;

  4. (d)  ensuring transnational activity links to several countries, reaching out to local and regional audience;

  5. (e)  performing their activities in eligible countries with the following geographical coverage:

    • —  civil society organisations for European remembrance (Category A) and civil society organisations at European level (Category B) must have members or activities in at least 12 eligible countries,

    • —  platforms of pan-European organisations (D) must have at least 20 umbrella member organisations, ensuring presence in all EU Member States;

Private individuals and public bodies are not eligible within this call for proposals.

3.1.2. Eligible countries
Only applications from legal entities established in the following countries are eligible:

(a) EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

For British applicants: Please be aware that eligibility criteria must be complied with for the entire duration of the grant. If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU during the grant period without concluding an agreement with the EU ensuring in particular that British applicants continue to be eligible, you will cease to receive EU fund­ ing (while continuing, where possible, to participate) or be required to leave the project on the basis of Article of the framework partnership agreement or decision (Article II.16.2.2(a) or General Condition 16.2.2.(a) respectively).


(b) Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia (1).

3.2. Eligible activities
The activities of the applicant must make a tangible contribution to the development and implementation of the general

and specific programme objectives.
The applicants must provide:
— a strategic work programme for a period of three years starting in 2018, and — a detailed annual work programme for a period of 12 months starting in 2018.

The applicant organisation's strategic work programme should cover its statutory activities, including conferences, semi­ nars, round tables, representation, communication and valorisation, outreach to young people, and their other recurrent European activities related to the activities of the Europe for Citizens programme.

Activities linked to the European Solidarity Corps are also eligible.

Eligibility period

The Framework Partnership has a duration of 3 years, starting at the earliest on 1 January 2018. For its specific annual grants, the period of eligibility must correspond to the applicant's budget year, as evidenced by the organisation's certi­ fied accounts.

For applicants with a budget year that differs from the calendar year, the period of eligibility will have the starting date of their budget year in 2018.


4. Award criteria
Only eligible applications will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

  • —  Consistency with the objectives of the programme and programme strand: 30%

    • —  Appropriateness of the proposed work programme with regard to the objectives of the Europe for Citizens pro­ gramme; the organisation's work programme should demonstrate the impacts of its activities leading to the achievement of the objectives of the Europe for Citizens programme.

    • —  The mission of the organisation must be in consistency with the objectives of the Europe for Citizens programme.

  • —  Quality of the activity plan/work programme: 30 %

    • —  The proposed work programme must be appropriate to reach the organisation's objectives.

    • —  Coherence: correspondence between the different objectives of the proposed activities and adaption of the pro­ posed inputs and resources to the objectives.

    • —  Effectiveness: effects should be obtained at reasonable cost.

    • —  Work programmes have to present a clearly elaborated European dimension.

    • —  Organisations use new working methods or propose innovative activities.

  • —  Dissemination: 20 %
    — Organisations receiving operating grants must make the necessary efforts for ensuring the exploitation and dis­semination of its results. This includes also translations of relevant outputs if appropriate.

  • — The proposed work programme must create a multiplier effect among a wider audience than that directly partici­ pating in the activities, in particular at local and regional level.

  • — A realistic and practical dissemination plan should be in place in order to allow an effective transfer and exchange of the results foreseen by the work programme.

— Impact and citizen involvement: 20 %

  • The number of involved organisations, participants, policy inputs and countries involved should be large enough to ensure a real European outreach of the proposed work programme.
  • Impact: The work programme should aim at reaching its objectives, notably as regards concrete inputs to policy­ making. It should support open public debate and access to objective information.
  • The applicant should demonstrate the added value that the operating grant would bring to the activities of the organisation and how these activities could be sustained after the end of the grant agreement.
  • Sustainability: The proposed work programme should aim at reaching long-term effects.
  • The proposed work programme should give participants the possibility to engage actively in the activities and with the issues raised.
  • A balance should be sought between citizens who are already active within organisations/institutions and citizens who are not yet involved.
  • Organisations involve participants of the European Solidarity Corps.
  • Organisations involve citizens from underrepresented groups or those with fewer opportunities.


5. Budget

The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of specific annual operating grants to be concluded for 2018 is esti­ mated at 6,8 million euros. In particular, 1,2 million euros are estimated for strand 1 and 5,6 million euros for strand 2.

This amount is subject to the availability of the appropriations provided for in the draft budget for 2018 after the adoption of the budget for 2018 by the budgetary authority or provided for in the provisional twelfths.

The maximum grant awarded in 2018 by category is set as follows:


A. Civil society organisations for European remembrance (strand 1)

EUR 200 000



B. Civil society organisations working at European level (strand 2) 

EUR 200 000



C. European think tanks (strand 1 or 2)

EUR 350 000



D. Platforms of pan-European organisations (strand 2)

EUR 600 000

90 %



6. Deadline for applications
The submission deadline is Wednesday 18 October 2017 no later than 12.00 CET (Midday, Brussels time).

The application form and all its annexes must be submitted online using the correct e-form, duly completed and con­ taining all applicable annexes.

The e-form is available at


7. Further information
The detailed conditions for application can be found in the specific Guidelines published on the website of the Educa­

tion, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency at In case of questions, please contact:

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