EU supports civil society organisations (CSOs) in the Eastern Partnership countries by helping them meaningfully engage in policy-making as well as promote reforms and public accountability. As part of a more strategic approach, the EU has established long-term partnerships with the civil society; increased outreach to smaller grassroots organisations and made its support more coherent and impact driven. Thanks to the EU and other donor support, civil society in the EaP countries has started to show its force, commitment and resilience while facing huge new challenges. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, CSOs have been playing a vital role in serving local communities and vulnerable groups when national authorities became overwhelmed by the magnitude of the crises. In Belarus and Ukraine, an unprecedented civic mobilisation has been redefining political and social activism. CSOs have also proven to be reliable partners in promoting EU values and in pushing for reform, despite facing restrictions and an ever-shrinking civic space. For 2021 and 2022, the EU made available more than €169 million to support CSOs in the EaP. Currently there are 126 grant contracts ongoing across the EaP countries for a value of more than €231 million.


The CSO Meter is a unique EU-funded tool that measures law and practice in key areas that affect civil society in the EaP countries. It produces an annual score combining legal framework indicators of legal framework and its practice as well as issues early warning reports with the latest legislative developments.




Civil Society Fellowships

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Fellowship Programme is an EU-funded initiative run by the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility to support civil society activists who demonstrate a deep commitment to leading positive social change in their communities. To-date the Fellowship alumni has a total of 147 Fellows from across the six countries of the EaP. Meet the fellows here.

EaP Civil Society Forum

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is the largest umbrella organisation of NGOs from the Eastern Partnership region and the EU, working together with 1,000+ organisations to promote European integration and facilitate reforms in the six EaP countries. The Forum is recognised by the European Commission as its main civil society interlocutor in the partner countries. The Forum also produces the Eastern Partnership Index that charts performance in the six EaP countries towards democracy and European integration.

European Endowment for Democracy (EED)

EED supports grassroots and innovative forms of civil participation, adapting to local needs and rapidly changing contexts, and helping people to contribute and influence their community. EED seeks primarily to support groups and activists unable, or without the capacity or necessary experience, to access other democracy support programmes, but with a guiding principle of investing in transformational ideas and the people behind them.



Framework Partnership Agreements (FPAs)

FPAs were signed at the end of 2019 with seven selected regional organisations working on civil society capacity building, and with five CSOs working in Ukraine. The objective of these FPAs is to co-ordinate actions and channel support more effectively, and with higher impact on the ground. Since 2019 EU’s Framework Partners have awarded 616 sub-grants for a total amount of almost €10 million.

A funding opportunity – Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM)

Through the Rapid Response Mechanism quick and targeted EU support in the form of low value grants (up to 60,000 EUR) is available to selected civil society organisations, through direct awards and on an ad hoc basis. Please contact the EU Delegation in your country to get further information.

Civil Society Assistance Monitoring

This EU-funded project monitors EU’s civil society assistance in the EaP region, including grassroots movements funded by the Framework Partners. The TAMIS database of this project is a very useful repository to keep track of our support.


Interested in the latest news and opportunities?

This website is managed by the EU-funded Regional Communication Programme for the Eastern Neighbourhood ('EU NEIGHBOURS east’), which complements and supports the communication of the Delegations of the European Union in the Eastern partner countries, and works under the guidance of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and the European External Action Service. EU NEIGHBOURS east is implemented by a GOPA PACE-led consortium. It is part of the larger Neighbourhood Communication Programme (2020-2024) for the EU's Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, which also includes 'EU NEIGHBOURS south’ project that runs the EU Neighbours portal.

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