EU Funding for Community and Voluntary Groups Opens

Are you interested in developing joint projects or events with community and voluntary organisations working in a similar field in other European countries? If so, then the ‘Europe for Citizens’ Programme could be just what you are looking for!

The deadline is looming in March for applications for funding for joint initiatives between community and voluntary groups across different countries (or ‘civil society organisations’ in Euro-jargon). If successful, the projects would receive a grant towards the organisation of different activities / events / material associated with the project.

What kinds of projects are eligible?

First of all, it is important to note that each project must include at least 2 organisations from at least 2 different EU countries.

Projects can include the organisation of seminars, workshops, joint publications, information campaigns, training events, grassroot projects, debates, and networking between community and voluntary groups in different European countries.

In order to be funded the subject covered by the project must relate to one of the Programme’s themes. The overall themes that are eligible under the ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme include:

  • The Future of Europe;
  • Active Citizenship, Democracy, and Citizen Participation;
  • Intercultural Dialogue, Tolerance, Respecting Cultural Diversity, and      combating Racism and Xenophobia;
  • Social cohesion, social inclusion, competitiveness, local economic development and local employment initiatives;
  • Education,Training,Publishing,Reseach
  • Environmental issues and Sustainable Development;
  • The Impact of EU policies, such as in the following areas:
    • Equal opportunities and fundamental rights;
    • Young people, education and multilingualism (including things like school networks, e-learning);
    • Issues affecting people with disabilities;
    • Making use of new information and communication technologies.

In addition to the above, during 2009 particular priority will be given to initiatives and projects addressing the following issues:

  • The European Parliament elections taking place this year, how citizens can provide input to MEPs, and the participation of women in political life;
  • Sport and the role sport can play in promoting a more active citizenship and community life;
  • Major challenges for society (such as climate change, competitiveness, etc.);
  • European Year of Creativity and Innovation (2009);
  • The challenge of immigration;
  • Events commemorating 9 May (Europe Day) and the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989.

Priority is given to applications that include these themes, as well as to projects that have a good strategy for publicising and giving greater visibility to the project. Special attention is also given to projects largely involving young people or disadvantaged groups.

Further Information

To be eligible, the applicant must be a non-profit-making organisation with a legal status and legal personality. This includes non-governmental organisations, platforms, networks, associations and federations, think tanks, trade unions, educational institutions, religious organisations, organisations active in the field of voluntary work and amateur sport, etc.

The deadline for submission of applications for 2009 is 13 March 2009.

Interested parties should first of all get in touch with Mark Callan of the Institute of Public Administration. Mark should be considered the first port of call for this funding scheme and is available to answer any queries or concerns you may have. He can be contacted by telephone on: 01 240 3632 / 3600. You can also email him on

Further details on the specific elements of the Europe for Citizens programme can also be found by clicking on the link below:


Information submitted by the IPA.