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Call for Proposals : Grant-making to ECAS Members in the EU – 2024

  • Objectives, expected results and funding
  • Timeframe and how to apply
  • Results

ECAS is pleased to launch its 2024 Call for proposals for its members, “Grant-making to ECAS’ Members in the EU”, which is part of the EURECA (European Citizenship Accelerator) 2024 project, co-funded by the Citizenship, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) Programme of the European Union.

The call for proposals of 2024 has two different strands, outlined below.

Lot 1: Tackling disinformation and strengthening CSOs resilience

The amplification of disinformation attacks in European societies in recent years is likely to remain a lasting factor in foreign attempts to disrupt the democratic process in Europe. In addition, more complex threats have arisen, such as the increasing use of AI to create engaging disinformation content, using ever more advanced tactics. Many national populist actors take up and amplify such narratives for their domestic use – to shrink civic democratic space and distort elections. We anticipate a surge in disinformation narratives in 2024, particularly related to the EP elections and the concurrent national elections (Parliamentary or Presidential) in nine EU Member States.

To address these challenges, the ECAS call for proposals under Lot 1 aims to tackle disinformation narratives and build CSO resilience against disinformation. ECAS will provide its members with a framework to counter disinformation comprised of practical guidelines on building coalitions faster in response to emerging narratives.

The expected result is a strengthened civic capacity to address disinformation, anti-democratic discourse, and populist narratives.

Lot 2: Ensuring digital transformation that leaves no one behind

The digital transformation process in Europe shapes how we live in the 21st century. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this process as more and more people require access to the internet to work, connect with others, and connect with citizen services. According to the Digital Economy and Society Index, in 2021, only 54% of people aged 16-74 had at least basic digital skills. Moreover, the differentiation in digital skills widens when broken down by age group and whether one lives in an urban or rural area.

In June 2023, the European Commission (EC) published a Decision setting out key performance indicators to measure progress towards the digital targets and a Guidance to the Member States, which should develop their national strategic roadmaps to achieve the KPIs set by the EC. As Member States will implement those roadmaps during the coming years, engagement by citizens in the process will be of crucial importance both in terms of awareness-raising of the digital targets and concrete recommendations on how the targets will be implemented to ensure an all-inclusive digital transformation that leaves no one behind.

To address these challenges, the ECAS call for proposals under Lot 2 aims to ensure an inclusive digital transformation process through citizen engagement. ECAS will provide its members with Guidelines on digital transformation that leaves no one behind, co-created with stakeholders in 10 Member States.

The expected result is enhanced digital inclusion to ensure digital transformation that leaves no one behind and/or increased innovation in forms and methods of civic engagement in policymaking (both digital and offline).

Financial support available

In 2024, ECAS will regrant the amount of EUR 169,000 and expects to fund about 11-12 projects, through grants of up to 15 000 EUR for projects implemented for a period of up to 6 months.

The grant will be a lump sum, reimbursing a fixed amount established by ECAS based on the budget available and the estimates indicated by the beneficiaries in their project budgets.

The following criteria will be taken into account when establishing the budget:

  • European Commission’s flat rates for travel, accommodation and per diem
  • The eligible costs per activity: applicants will be requested to provide detailed Key Performance Indicators (target and baseline values) for their project activities from a list pre-defined by ECAS, which will be considered in the grant calculation. KPIs will relate to outputs and deliverables, such as events, outreach of communication and information activities, publications, etc.

The usual project payment scheme includes a pre-payment of 80% of the grant and a final payment (after reporting) of 20% (more details are available in Annex B – Guidelines for Applicants).

Who can apply?

All ECAS members that meet the following requirements:

  • registered legal non-profit entities and non-governmental organisations in a Member State of the European Union;
  • respecting EU values as laid down in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights;
  • non-affiliated entity(ies), branches, associated partners or sub-contractors of ECAS;
  • non-EU-wide networks or umbrella organisations;
  • not receiving funds from bodies which are incompatible with EU values (confirmation in applicants’ Declaration of Honour).

What is the funding for?

The following activities taking place in the EU are eligible for financial support in Lot 1 and Lot 2:

  • awareness raising and outreach campaigns for the general public and key stakeholders;
  • organisation of civic platforms and civic dialogues;
  • watchdog, monitoring, lobbying and advocacy activities,
  • training and capacity-building of key stakeholders;
  • research and analysis linked to the Call for proposals themes.

All projects’ duration should not exceed six months.

Projects should demonstrate a clear European dimension in their activities.

Timeline

 

Candidates will have to submit their applications through the ECAS website before 15 March, 23:59 CEST. To answer this call, applicants are required to follow the process outlined below:

  • Step 1: Carefully read the Guidelines for Applicants.
  • Step 2: Fill in the Application Form, add or complete all mandatory annexes listed in it, and transform it into a single PDF file. The budget table can be completed in a separate Excel file.
  • Step 3: Register your organisation in the EU Funding & Tenders Portal and get a Participant Identification Code (PIC) following the instructions available at this link.
  • Step 4:  Submit your proposal’s documents before 15 March 2024, 23:59 CEST, via this link.

**Please carefully read the form instructions and the Guidelines for Applicants before completing your application!

When applying for the ECAS Grant-making call, please also note that:

  • Only applications using the provided templates (see list on the right of this page) and submitted before the deadline will be considered for evaluation.
  • All sections must be written in English for the proposal to be eligible.

Online information sessions

An informational webinar for all eligible ECAS members will be held on 31 January 2024, 10.00-12.00 CET.

Recordings will be made available in this dedicated ECAS webpage.

Link to registration 

Link to recordings

After the evaluation of the proposals and the signing of the grant agreements, the results of the call will be published on this page.

Questions and Answers

Is the application submission due by 15th March EOB or at midnight?

The submission is due by 15th March at midnight CET. Early submissions are encouraged to avoid any technical problems. Assistance in case of technical issues can be provided until the day before the deadline.

Should applications include indicators for each of the listed categories of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA)?

Ideally, there should be at least one indicator and a related activity/measure for each DEIA category, but this is not strictly mandatory as it depends on the focus of the application.

Are indirect costs and overhead costs the same (project administration and structure fees)?

Yes, indirect costs are automatically calculated as 7% flat rate of the eligible direct costs in the proposals’ budget.

Do travel and subsistence costs related to the kick-off meeting of the grantees’ projects need to be budgeted in the proposals?

No, ECAS will refund grantees’ expenditures for attending the kick-off meeting in Brussels.

Which percentage of the grant is paid with the pre-financing and which one with the final instalment?

The percentage is decided following risk assessment and evaluation of each applicant’s financial capacity by the Selection Committee. The financial capacity check will assess figures from applicants’ balance sheets and turnover for the last two years (as per application form). If the financial capacity of the selected applicant is sufficient, a pre-financing of 80% of the grant will be installed within 30 days from the signature of the grant agreement, and the final payment (after approval of the final report) will correspond to 20% of the grant. If the financial capacity is not sufficient (negative balance and/or turnover lower than the amount of the grant), a different payment scheme with lower pre-financing will apply.

Where can distance bands to calculate travel costs be found?

What is the maximum number of projects that can be selected for regranting?

Based on the total budget available, ECAS foresees to regrant up to 12 projects (assuming that the majority of applicants request the maximum grant amount).

Is there a preference between sole applicants or consortium applications?

No,  this aspect will not be taken into account in the evaluation of proposals.