The Active Citizens Fund (ACF) in Slovakia seeks to achieve the following:

1. Increased citizen participation in civic activities (total budget 1,700,000 euros)

In response to the growing mistrust of democratic institutions, radicalization of political life, and efforts to weaken civil society and liberal democracy, the ACF will seek to strengthen public participation and catalyse involvement of citizens in civic activities. The ACF will encourage citizens to address and consult public policy decisions, including those in the area of environment and climate change. ACF will support creation and development of infrastructure for public dialogue – both material (physical spaces designed for organisations activities) and non-material (such as web-based tools and platforms and working groups) to encourage public participation.

2. Strengthened civil society advocacy and watchdog role (total budget 1,800,000 euros)

Supporting CSOs engaged in advocacy, watchdog and policy monitoring is a significant contribution towards improving democratic governance, empowering citizens and strengthening their voice in public affairs. ACF will encourage organisations to actively contribute to development of national, regional and local public policies e.g. in areas of the legal tools enabling more effective public participation, judiciary reform, environmental protection, inclusion of vulnerable groups, good governance and transparency, etc.

3. Increased support for human rights and civic education (total budget 1,150,000 euros)

The ACF programme will aim to provide education in civic and human rights, will focus on influencing the attitudes of target groups toward minorities such as Roma and gender equality, including support of action to curb hate speech and negative stereotypes. The programme will also support awareness raising campaigns on human rights, equal treatment, gender equality (including gender-based violence), including those carried out on local and regional levels.

4. Vulnerable groups are empowered (total budget 1,500,000 euros)

Specific attention will be devoted to Roma and people in the risk of social exclusion and poverty. ACF will support CSOs that work on the local level and implement activities to overcome social exclusion and discrimination. Emphasis will be placed on target groups’ participation in decision-making processes and access to income as a way to economic empowerment. Organisations will be encouraged to partner with municipalities and introduce locally appropriate methods and services.

5. Enhanced capacity and sustainability of civil society (total budget 1,750,000 euros)

ACF will enable organisations to improve their skills and competences, introduce higher standards of management and implement up-to-date strategies contributing to their sustainability. At the same time, the ACF will offer grants to enhance the operating environment for the organisation sector in terms of more favourable legislation, access to public and private funding or in development of individual philanthropy. Capacity development will include improved management, communication, financial stability and monitoring&evaluation.

Bilateral ambitions

Partnerships at project level will be encouraged through favourable scoring of projects with donor state partners and by increased grant ceilings (up to 20%) to finance bi-lateral activities within supported projects. It is also planned for simplified administrative and reporting requirements for donor entities, as this was an issue in the previous programme

The ACF Bilateral Fund, with a total of 100,000 euros allocation, will be used to support the following type of activities on an ongoing basis:

  • partner search trips (prior to submitting grant application in open calls)
  • matchmaking event during the launch seminar
  • Additional bilateral activities that are identified after projects started (additional funds can be requested from the bilateral fund, should projects come up with ideas for bilateral activities at a later stage)
  • individual short-term internships and know-how exchanges
  • tailored initiatives of the FO consortium members to facilitate exchange of knowledge in their respective field of expertise based on previous results and networks with donor countries.

Strategic priority for programme-level bilateral cooperation will be given to prevention and mitigation of the proliferation of fake news, anti-democratic propaganda, and countering the detrimental impact of these phenomena on public trust in democratic institutions and values of liberal democracy. Partners for cooperation in donor countries will include CSOs, but also media and academia, etc.

Fund Operator 

Ekopolis Foundation in cooperation with Open Society Foundation and Carpatia Foundation.

Contact: acf@acfslovakia.sk

Resources and more information

Website of the Active Citizens Fund in Slovakia

Further information on the EEA and Norway Grants in Slovakia.

See the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021 fact sheet for Slovakia.