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Roma and EU Funds, Grant Opportunity, Open Society Foundations

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    Craig Zelizer

    Roma and EU Funds

    The Roma Initiatives Office invites Roma and pro-Roma organizations and formal or informal networks from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain to apply for advocacy grants aimed at ensuring that civil society remains a critical actor in the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of European Union financial assistance. Roma and EU Funds is part of our Paruvipe portfolio (paruvipe means “change” in the Romani language), which supports advocacy aimed at influencing public decision making, service delivery, and state responses to acts of hate and violence.

    Our work within Paruvipe is about seizing political opportunities, extending our partnerships with pro-Roma civil society, and experimenting with new models for influencing national governments. Through this call for applications, we are seeking proposals for innovative and creative actions that will hold governments accountable for the spending of EU financial assistance, promote new policy solutions and institutional frameworks, build alliances across sectors and countries, promote the participation of Roma, and employ effective communication tactics.

    The new EU financial and Roma frameworks provide an opportunity for unprecedented investment in the lives of Roma over the next seven years. While the European Commission has highlighted the importance of involving nonstate partners in its support for Roma inclusion, it leaves member states responsible for following this guidance. National-level advocacy, therefore, is crucial for elevating Roma voices, securing inclusive development, ensuring that reforms target Roma in a meaningful way, and ensuring that mainstream reforms do not exclude or have negative effects on Roma. 

    Eligibility Criteria

    Applicant organizations must fulfill the following two criteria:

    • While it is not necessary for applicant organizations to be Roma NGOs, applicants must demonstrate Roma leadership or partnership with a Roma organization on an equal footing in all phases of the action. Roma should also benefit from the policy change targeted by the action.
    • Projects must take place in at least one of the eligible countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain.

    A Roma NGO is defined as an organization in which at least 50 percent of the membership (in the case of associations), the governance body, and the senior management openly declare their Roma ethnic origin.

    Ineligibility Criteria

    The following will not be supported under this call for proposals:

    • Provision of technical support to civil society for the development of projects or technical assistance to governments
    • Co-funding  for the implementation of EU-funded projects, including mainstream investments that impact Roma
    • Financial support for bridge funding
    • Service delivery-oriented projects
    • Awareness-raising campaigns without clear policy targets
    • Interventions with capacity-building activities as their main purpose
    • Research that is not accompanied by a strong advocacy component
    Purpose and Priorities

    Roma and EU Funds is a grant-making portfolio that provides support for civil society organizations to engage in advocacy interventions with a strong potential to influence the impact of EU-funded reforms at national and local levels and to promote the provision of inclusive services by national governments. By supporting effective interventions, the Roma Initiatives Office seeks to ensure that civil society holds governments accountable for the use of EU funds and that EU-funded projects lead to long-term reforms that improve the lives of Roma.

    Submitted proposals must advocate for the improved absorption of EU assistance in order to support inclusive reforms at the institutional and systemic levels and to bring meaningful changes to the lives of Roma.

    Projects are expected to last up to 24 months. 


    Applications should be submitted in English through the Open Society Foundations Grant Portal.

    A complete application consists of a narrative proposal of no more than 10 pages, a budget, and all relevant appendices. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

    The budget must be submitted in the template provided and must strictly follow the accompanying budget guidelines. 

    Please read the full application guidelines before preparing your application.

    For more info click here

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