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International Partnerships
News article22 December 2022Directorate-General for International Partnerships

Civil society: European Commission announces new funding opportunities

Women with t-shirts
© European Union

The European Commission has opened three global calls for proposals to strengthen civil society organisations in partner countries, to further enable them to effectively contribute to good governance, democratic processes, peace, stability, sustainable development and inclusive growth. The launch of the calls, under the two Global Europe thematic programmes on Civil Society and on Human Rights and Democracy, is a concrete demonstration of the EU’s commitment to protect and expand civic space and fundamental freedoms and to promote partnerships with the civil society.  

Strengthening Global Civil Society Organisation Umbrella Organisations - €56 million

With this call for proposals, the EU aims at strengthening global umbrella organisations to coordinate actions at regional and global level, effectively represent and be more accountable to their constituencies, and support their work as actors of good governance and development and contributors to policy-making. The call allows for proposals from global umbrella organisations of:

  • non-governmental organisations (NGOs),
  • civil society organisations with an overt youth participation and empowerment purpose,
  • cooperatives and
  • women's organisations.

More information on the call “Strengthening Global CSO Umbrella Organisations”

Thematic Framework Partnerships for Human Rights and Democracy - €31 million

With this call for proposals, the EU aims at supporting and empowering civil society in protecting and promoting democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms worldwide. The call has three priority areas:

  • Abolishing the death penalty
  • Protecting Freedoms of Association and of Peaceful Assembly
  • Protecting independent media

More information on the call “Thematic Framework Partnerships for Human Rights and Democracy”

EU System for an Enabling Environment for Civil Society(EU-SEE) - €50 million

With this call for proposals, the EU aims at strengthening the capacity of civil society at global, regional and partner country level to prevent further deteriorations and promote a sustainable and accessible enabling environment for civil society overall by supporting and enabling civil society partners to detect, respond, and adapt to, changes to the enabling environment. The call specifically aims to result in the establishment of:

  • an EU System for Enabling Environment Monitor and Early Warning Mechanism and
  • a Flexible Support Mechanism that can offer timely financial support to civil society in situations of emergency.

More information on the call “EU System for an Enabling Environment for Civil Society”


Civic space and an enabling environment for civil society provide a foundation for the practical expression of the universal values and fundamental principles that underpin Global Gateway, in particular the principles of democratic values, high standards, good governance, and transparency, and the principle of equal partnerships.

The EU is fully committed to the protection and empowerment of civil society organisations and supports their engagement to contribute to human rights and democratic processes, as outlined in the Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy (2020–2024) and in the 2012 Communication: The Roots of Democracy and Sustainable Development: Europe's engagement with Civil Society in External Relations.

The launch of the calls for proposal comes at the heels of the international Human Rights Day and discussions with civil society organisations at the 24th Annual EU-NGO Human Rights Forum. These calls ensure the continuity of the EU’s efforts to promote a vibrant civic space, an enabling environment for civil society partners globally, and strong youth engagement and empowerment following the launch of the first-ever Youth Action Plan in EU external relations during the European Year of Youth 2022.


Publication date
22 December 2022
Directorate-General for International Partnerships