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Financing of civil society organisations by the EU

Financing of civil society organisations by the EU

Information memo: Financing of civil society organisations by the EU

Practical information

Composition of the study group & calendar

Administrator in charge: Barbara Walentynowicz   / Assistant: Joëlle Doudard

Foreseen for the SOC section meeting on 27.09.2017 and the plenary session on 18-19.10.2017.


Funding is one of the factors contributing to enabling active citizenship and participatory democracy.

Civil society organisations or NGOs do receive EU financial support (co-funding) either for projects or for policy work as structural funding. However, access to EU funding remains quite difficult for many associations as procedures are quite complicated and the administration is burdensome. Programmes that are more specifically targeted at citizen’s engagement at EU level are not adequately resourced. In addition, there is a lack of transparency and consistency of audit procedures because of diverging interpretation of rules in place and lack of harmonisation.

The opinion will contribute to reviewing the state of the art as regards the distribution and effectiveness of EU funding as contributing to participatory democracy and citizenship and will make recommendations in view of the review of the EU funding priorities.

The opinion could contribute to the current discussions and decision on revised financial regulations, and the upcoming proposal for a Multi Annual Financial Framework after 2020, as well as to the implementation of Article 11 of TEU on civil dialogue. It will also complement the EP own initiative report on budgetary control of financing NGOs from the EU budget.

Relevant EESC opinions

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