Civic Power: Protecting and Expanding Civic Space in Europe – Project Grant

[This opportunity is provided by Civitates. The following text is the original description provided by the organisers. Please note that while we strive to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, the European Heritage Hub does not guarantee the accuracy or endorse the content of this initiative]

Civic Power: Protecting and Expanding Civic Space in Europe

Civitates starts its new cycle of grant-making for 2024-2026 by launching two new open calls to support civil society organisations in Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, and France, and in Austria.

Civic Power – Project Grant

Although Austria boasts an established civil society and CSO sector, civic space reports warns about the declining environment for diverse civil society participation. There is an increasingly hostile atmosphere towards independent CSOs in Austria, characterised by smear campaigns, restrictions on public participation, and funding cuts. This has led to the legitimacy of CSOs and civil society sector is being increasingly questioned. Civil society advocates for improvements in civil dialogue, the creation of a supportive environment, and acknowledgment of the vital role of civic actors. Despite a deteriorating operating environment, independent civil society actors continue their efforts to safeguard civic space and human rights, push back against restrictive measures, and highlight best practices and better alternatives to closing environments.

Therefore, Civitates announces a call for project proposals open to civil society organisations registered in Austria in order to support efforts to build democratic cultures and support civil society and civic participation. The specific objectives of the call centre on two main goals:

  • Defending and protecting civil society and the space for people’s participation in civic life; challenge and resist efforts to restrict space for civil society
  • Opening and expanding the space for civic action: strengthen civil society organisations so that they are more resilient, able to adapt challenges, create new alliances, invest in new ways of engaging with people and reach new audiences


Civitates aims to support up to 6 projects for one year (with potential no-cost extension) in a maximum amount of 25.000 EUR to selected grantees. The grant covers project costs relevant to and reflective of the planned activities.

For more information on eligibility and selection criteria as well as the project, please carefully read the full proposal available here.

Applications can only be submitted through NEF’s Optimy portal accessible here. Any submission by email will not be considered.

The deadline for application is 18 August 2024, 6 PM (CET).
Applicants will be notified of the results of the call in November/ December 2024.

You can access all document for the call:


To help future applicants, an info session will be held on June 17, 2024 from 12-1 PM. You can register here.

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