The European Commission is seeking applications for its program entitled “Support to Civil Society and Media Networks/Platforms for advancing the sector reforms and EU accession of the Republic of North Macedonia”.
The overall aim of the IPA III Civil Society Facility and Media Programme for the Republic of North Macedonia 2021-2023 is to support active involvement of civil society and media organisations in the decision making and in the key sector reforms, in line with the EU guidelines for support to civil society. The specific focus of the Programme is to support actions of CSOs for enabling environment for civil society, also involving the business community and public institutions, both on central and local level.
- The global objective of this call for proposals is to strengthen the participatory democracy and the EU integration and approximation process in North Macedonia by empowering civil society to contribute actively in the decision-making and inimproving the enabling environment for civil society work and freedom of expression.Strengtheningof the civil societynetworking for all-inclusive creation of public policies and decision making, and for a structured civil and political dialogueis expected to positively influence the key reforms as part of the EU accession, including the opening of the negotiations.
- The specific objective of this call for proposals is to provide support to civil society and media organisations, structured in operating networks/platforms (both formal or non-formal)aimed to contribute towards EU related reforms. Supported actions are expected tostrengthen the capacities of CSOs for structured cooperation with public institutions and business community to influence reforms, by giving citizens a voice and towards better-informed society for the accession process.
- EU accession and Civil Society Platforms for EU Dialogue – This priority is focused on further development of CSOs’ sectorial networking mechanism for structured dialogue and consultations between CSOs, state institutions and the European Commission to advance sector reforms and accession process of the country.
- EU accession and Networking on freedom of expression, media and digital technologies – This priority is focused on further strengthening of media integrity, digital literacy and upholding journalism quality standards in the country to deliver servicesfor better informed citizens and prepared society for the EU accession.
Types of Activities
Types of activities that may be financed under this call include (the list is not exhaustive):
- Under Priority 1. EU accession and Civil Society Platform for EU Dialogue:
- Activities for strengthening civil society platforms, networks and coalitions dealing with the EU accession process, including systems for information sharing and transfer of know-how mechanisms;
- Activities for capacity building for sector lobbing with particular attention to a wider outreach of CSOs, including grassroots and other types of local non-governmental organisations, citizens and volunteers;
- Policy monitoring and watchdog activities of CSOs, provision of reports, studies, needs assessments, including shadow reports on issues of relevance for the sector (i.e. enabling environment, Government policies for CSOs, public consultations, sector reforms and EU negotiations, etc.)and coordinate an all – inclusive dialogue;
- Cooperation with public bodies of relevance for the thematic areas in focus (e.g. Ombudsman, Equality Bodies, etc), including influencing policies and sector reform in cooperation with the National Council for Civil Society and the Sector Working Groups;
- Activities supporting the realisation of the objectives from different EU Strategies and Action Plans applicable for the country, such as for e.g. the EU Gender Action Plan III: Country-Level Implementation Plan (CLIP) for the Republic of North Macedonia on local level.
- Activities for facilitating dialogue, consultation and discussion between civil society and other different stakeholders, involving media, decision makers, political actors, business community, etc.
- Activities for continuous enabling CSOs’ participation in the reform and policy making process, and for effective implementation of adopted laws, regulations and strategy documents.
- Activities for building awareness and identify needs of civil society for engagement in the EU accession process; .
- Provision of training in monitoring sectorial policies, constituency building, evidence-based advocacy, volunteering, or other topics depending on particular needs of target CSOs.
- Under Priority 2. EU accession and Networking on freedom of expression, media and digital technologies:
- Activities for detecting, exposing and acting against dis- and misinformation in media – development of methodologies; awareness raising; capacity building – including collaboration and exchanges between media professionals, social media platforms, fact-checkers and researchers.
- Activities for addressing the gender equality in media sector by promoting gender-sensitive journalism, good practices in tackling online violence of women journalists, capacity building on safety of women journalists, closing the gender gap in newsrooms, etc
- Activities for boosting media and digital literacy, pluralism and journalism quality standardsthrough exchange platforms forinnovations and increased media resilience against external pressures;
- Activities for building capacities and advancing cooperation and networking of journalists’ associations, trade unions, etc. in fields such as promoting journalist rights, professional ethics and self-regulation, etc.
- Activities for promoting cooperation in advancing innovative tools for journalism, ensuring sustainability of independent media and engaging citizens for promoting a responsible use of communication channels offered by social media;
- Activities for promoting cooperation between CSOs and media outlets for growing audience’s confidence including in rural/remote areas;
- Activities for capacity-building and awareness raising on state’ obligation to protect and ensure the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, promoting laws and practices that protect freedom of opinion and expression.
- Activities for stimulated culture of pluralistic opinions, democratic values, critical thinking and inter-cultural tolerance.
- Activities to stimulate use of social media and digital tools in general for the purpose of improved transparency, communication and visibility with a focus on EU accession process.
- Minimum amount: EUR 200,000
- Maximum amount: EUR 350,000.
Location: Actions must take place in the Republic of North Macedonia.
- In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must:
- Be a legal person and
- Be non-profit-making and
- Be a civil society organisation or a representative network of CSOs working on one or more thematic areas of relevance to this Call for Proposals and
- Be established in the Republic of North Macedonia at least two (2) years before this call is launched and
- Be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action with the co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies), not acting as an intermediary.
- Potential applicantsmay not participate in calls for proposals or be awarded grants ifthey are in any of the situations listed in of the practical guide;
- The lead applicant must act with at least two (2) co-applicants.
- Co-applicants participate in designing and implementing the action, and the costs they incur are eligible in the same way as those incurred by the lead applicant.
- Co-applicants must satisfy the eligibility criteria as applicable to the lead applicant himself.
- In addition to the categories referred to in Section 2.1.1, the following are however also eligible: Co-applicants may be also established in a Member State of the European Union or Instrument for Pre-Accession assistance (IPA) beneficiary countries .
- Co-applicants must sign the mandate.
- If awarded the grant contract, the co-applicant(s) (if any) will become beneficiary(ies) in the action (together with the coordinator).
- In addition, please note that contracts cannot be awarded to or signed with applicants included in the lists of EU restrictive measures.
- The following types of action are ineligible:
- Actions concerned only or mainly with individual sponsorships for participation in workshops, seminars, conferences and congresses;
- Actions concerned only or mainly with individual scholarships for studies or training courses;
- Actions concerned only or mainly with “one-off” conferences, and similar events;
- Actions concerned only or mainly with academic research and/or feasibility studies;
- Actions concerned infrastructure investments and/or the procurement of equipment;
- Actions linked to political parties or of political/partisan or religious nature;
- Actions that fall within the general activities of competent state institutions or state administration services, including local government;
- Retrospective financing for projects already in implementation or completed;
- Projects for the exclusive benefit of individuals or exclusive restricted groups of individuals;
- Core funding of the lead applicant or its co-applicants (i.e. when budget is mainly for organisational expenses);
- Humanitarian activities;
- Reconstruction works.
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