The “Europe and the World” program, within the framework of the “European Renaissance of Ukraine: Civil Society Initiative for Sustainability and Recovery” project in cooperation with the European Union, announces a call for proposals aimed at strengthening the role, capacity, involvement, and practical contribution of civil society in the integration of Ukraine with the EU, preparation to negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU, dialogue and cooperation with EU member states.
At the end of this year, EU member states will consider opening negotiations on Ukraine’s accession. The prerequisite is Ukraine’s implementation of 7 recommendations formulated by the EU in connection with granting Ukraine the status of a candidate country in June of last year. These recommendations are focused on specific issues of judicial reform, anti-corruption policy, and human rights. But the upcoming accession negotiations will cover a much wider range of topics – in total, 34 areas of EU policies and law. The central part of the negotiations will be an analysis of Ukraine’s progress in bringing its legislation and practice of its application in these 34 areas (“chapters” or “chapters”) closer to the requirements of EU membership. Although in many places Ukraine has already made progress in this rapprochement thanks to the implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU, the scope of tasks becomes much more significant for joining the EU, and therefore, this process will last at least several years (even without taking into account the impact of the war).
Both sides are already preparing for the start of negotiations, pending a political decision in the future. In particular, the government of Ukraine and the European Commission are analyzing the state of compliance of Ukrainian legislation with EU law to identify discrepancies and gaps that will need to be eliminated in the process of Ukraine’s accession to the EU. In the spring of 2022, the Ukrainian government answered the European Commission’s questionnaire on national policy and legislation for all 34 chapters. On this basis, in June 2022, the European Commission issued its report assessing Ukraine’s compliance with the essential criteria for EU membership, and in February 2023, a more detailed report evaluating the compliance of Ukrainian legislation with EU law in all chapters of potential accession negotiations. In November of this year, a new large-scale report with the European Commission’s assessment of Ukraine in all 34 chapters is expected. At the same time, the government of Ukraine has started “self-screening”, based on which it plans to develop a National Program for the Approximation of Legislation to EU Acts, which must be implemented during the accession negotiations.
The EU provides the Ukrainian government with unprecedented centralized assistance (macro-financial, military, humanitarian, technical) to support national stability in response to Russian aggression. The EU has also opened up many opportunities that Ukrainian individuals and legal entities can use independently. In addition to the well-known removal of restrictions on the movement of goods, services, and people with Ukraine (that is, actual integration into the EU common market), this also opens additional opportunities for Ukraine’s participation in the EU’s internal budget programs. In fact, this is an opportunity to receive EU funding for projects from Ukraine on a par with other member countries and candidate countries. However, the amount of support here is not guaranteed: it depends precisely on the activity and ability of Ukrainians to submit relevant and competitive projects.
The level of sympathy and practical support for Ukraine is huge not only from national politicians and governments but also from ordinary citizens, private companies, municipalities, and regional authorities of EU member states. However, Ukrainians should work hard to institutionalize these emotional impulses into lasting and stable partnerships with EU member states at various levels. First, this concerns relations with neighboring countries, with some of which political frictions have recently appeared (regarding trade or national minorities), and slogans of reducing support for Ukraine is becoming more popular in some of them. In some countries, the influence of the voices of stakeholders (in particular, from the agricultural sector) who feel their interests are threatened by the future accession of Ukraine is increasing – and due to conjunctural considerations, these voices are often politicized. With this in mind, it is necessary to maintain public support and develop long-term partnerships with EU member states – in particular, to ensure that Ukraine’s path to the EU is not blocked for political reasons (as happened with some other EU candidate countries).
Millions of Ukrainians left for EU countries to escape the war. This is a massive challenge for Ukraine and an additional resource for mobilizing international support – to help it win, recover, modernize, and join the EU. Therefore, there is also a need for systematic cooperation, networking, and coordination with organizations and informal groups of the “old” and “new” diasporas, as well as foreign activists and sympathizers who want to maintain ties and help Ukraine.
The purpose of the call for proposals: to strengthen the role, capacity, involvement, and practical contribution of civil society in the integration of Ukraine with the EU, preparation for negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU, dialogue and cooperation with EU member states.
Participants: NGOs, analytical centers, public unions, associations and other unions registered per Ukrainian legislation as non-profit or charitable organizations.
- Preparation for the negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU on specific negotiation chapters, assistance in developing negotiation positions of the Ukrainian side (expert recommendations to the sides, stakeholder dialogue, public discussions), including further fulfillment of the relevant obligations under the Association Agreement, implementation of the new National Program of Approximation of Legislation);
- Exchange of experience with other EU candidate countries regarding the accession negotiation process;
- Public dialogue with member states, especially neighboring and/or those where influential stakeholders may oppose Ukraine’s accession to the EU;
- Strengthening understanding and solidarity, practical cooperation (in particular, at the level of communities and regions) and long-term partnerships with EU member states (in particular, neighboring ones);
- Increasing awareness and use of opportunities to participate in EU programs (in particular, at the local and regional levels);
- Support of communication and involvement of Ukrainian activist circles in EU countries to support Ukraine.
- Analysis of the state of compliance of national policy, legislation, and institutions with EU requirements, comparison with government plans and assessments of the European Commission, research of positions and dialogue of stakeholders, development of recommendations for the National Program of approximation of legislation to EU legal acts, analysis of the potential impact of Ukraine’s accession on internal EU policies, development recommendations regarding potential agreements, etc. expert support of sectoral dialogue/negotiations between Ukraine and the EU;
- Organization of an inclusive public dialogue on Ukraine’s accession to the EU with the participation of Ukrainian stakeholders (hearings, consultations, round tables, strategic sessions, etc.);
- Organization of an international dialogue on Ukraine’s accession to the EU, in particular, the arrival of foreign delegations to Ukraine, acquaintances and dialogues of public activists, experts of analytical centers, heads of communities, artists, journalists, influencers, other leaders of public opinion; production of foreign language content and communication with audiences of (neighboring) EU member states;
- Analysis of participation opportunities, support and support of Ukrainian participants in specific EU programs, assistance to authorities and local governments in organizing effective participation of Ukraine in these programs, dissemination of information and best practices among the potential target audience of the relevant programs in Ukraine, assistance to potential Ukrainian applicants;
- Coordination, networking, assistance in conducting events, preparing and disseminating information, establishing partnerships, etc. assistance to organized and informal groups of (pro) Ukrainian activists abroad in self-organization and development of activities in support of Ukraine.
Please take note!
The project implementation period is up to 10 months — the estimated start date is February 1, 2024.
Criteria for selecting the winners of the competition:
- Compliance of the submitted project proposal with the purpose and priorities of the competition;
- Logical construction of the project: a clear thematic focus of the activity, a realistic action plan, level of involvement of stakeholders and foreign partners, the realism of achieving the expected results with the help of the activities proposed in the project;
- Effectiveness of activities: expected practical results at the end, impact of the project on target audiences / on achieving positive changes, availability of objective indicators of success, constancy of results;
- Competence of the applicant: previous experience and knowledge of the topic, involvement of qualified experts, familiarity with key relevant documents (including references to them in the project description), familiarity with stakeholders and characteristics of target audiences, legitimacy in the perception of partners and target audiences;
- Taking into account the principles of equality and non-discrimination in the planned project activity;
- The validity of the project budget, including from the point of view of “costs – results”.
The total budget of the competition is 20,000,000 hryvnias.
The optimal amount of the grant is 800,000 to 1,000,000 hryvnias.
The maximum amount of the funding is 1,150,000 hryvnias.
The deadline for submitting project proposals is November 16, 2023 (3 p.m. Kyiv time).
Announcement of results – until December 16, 2023.
Please take note!
Project proposals (application form with attachments) should be registered on the IRF’s website using the “E-Competitions” service. All documents must be attached to the project proposal in .doc, .docs, .xls, .xlsx or .pdf format. The maximum size of each application cannot exceed 8 Mb.Project proposals submitted other than the above will not be considered.
Project budget expenditures are considered acceptable, which are:
- necessary for project activities;
- will arise during the project implementation period;
- comply with the principles of feasibility and appropriateness of costs, including the regulations of “highest quality for the lowest price” and cost-effectiveness;
- can be correctly documented, substantiated and, understandable, and supported by appropriate financial and accounting reporting documentation.
Uncceptable project budget costs associated with:
- preparation of a project proposal for participation in the competition;
- creation and registration of the organization;
- payment of debts;
- reimbursement of expenses related to exchange rate fluctuations;
- providing direct fiscal support to state authorities;
- political activity or religious propaganda;
- activities leading to direct or indirect discrimination of any social strata;
- projects aimed at obtaining profit from activities;
- construction or repair works;
- procurement of humanitarian aid and/or military equipment;
- purchase of vehicles and/or luxury items and related services;
- providing financial assistance to third-party organizations (regranting).
The same organization cannot claim support in the total amount of more than 60,000 euros during the implementation of the project “European Renaissance of Ukraine: Civil Society Initiative for Sustainability and Recovery” (2023-2024).
The fund does not provide grants to political parties, religious communities, private (individual) persons, or business entities that aim to make a profit.
The grantee is responsible for monitoring the project implementation and evaluating its results, compliance with the communication policy, and branding of EU projects. The grantee will submit reports in the format specified by the IRF.
Other notes and contacts
- Materials submitted to the competition are not returned or reviewed.
- All participants will be notified of the results of the competition by e-mail.
- The final decision on the project proposal is not subject to review.
- The IRF does not report the reasons for the refusal to support project proposals.
Please note: consultations on the conditions of the call for proposals and the requirements of the International Renaissance Foundation for the design and submission of project proposals are provided only in electronic mode.
If you have additional questions, please get in touch with us by November 14, 2023 at the e-mail addresses email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.