Over a thousand people attended the Active Citizens Fund events this Summer

Launch event, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon. © Márcia Lessa

Since the launch of the first open calls of the Active Citizens Fund in Portugal, in early July, around 1100 people from Portuguese Civil Society organizations attended the workshops and presentations promoted by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Bissaya Barreto Foundation (Fund Operator).

In a two-month period, between 19 July and September 18, eight technical workshops took place all over the country, from North to South of Portugal including the islands of Azores and Madeira, in order to support weaker NGOs on the preparation of applications. In addition to this outreach plan, the Active Citizens Fund in Portugal held two presentation events for the general public, in Lisbon and in Porto, reinforcing the promotion of the 2018 open calls.

The technical workshop programme included: a presentation on the Active Citizens Fund in Portugal as a support mechanism to civil society funded by the EEA Grants; an operational explanation about the Technical Support and the eligible NGOs that may benefit from it; a module with recommendations on social projects design; and another module on the technical aspects related to filling the application forms. These free-attendance workshops intended to clarify issues and help NGOs to submit quality applications, in accordance with the requirements of the Active Citizens Fund in Portugal.

The challenges of Civil Society in Europe today

On September 14, the public launch of the Active Citizens Fund in Portugal took place at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in Lisbon, with online streaming. The event was attended by Nelson de Souza, Portuguese Secretary of State for Development and Cohesion, and Anders Erdal, Ambassador of Norway in Portugal.

On this occasion, Márta Pardavi, co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Calouste Gulbenkian Prize for Human Rights in 2017, delivered an inspiring lecture on the challenges that Civil Society faces in Europe today. “There is a drive to what is called shrinking of civic space”, warned the speaker, noting that, “the EEA and Norway Grants are exactly targeted in Hungary because of the very essential contribution they’re making to help civil society grow, strengthen and work to protect democracy”.


Full lecture of Márta Pardavi (40 min) is available for online viewing from 50’40: https://livestream.com/fcglive/20180914ApresentacaoProgramaCidadaosAtivos

Updated on 26 september 2018

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