Opportunities in Europe

European Calls

Civic Europe Idea Challenge

Call for Ideas 2020
Up to 15 local projects with grants of up to €50,000 each.

Civic Europe is an incubator for locally rooted civic initiatives, organizations and individuals in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe1 realized by MitOst and Sofia Platform, funded by Stiftung Mercator. 
This Idea Challenge aimes to find 15 lighthouse ideas that function as bright horizons and inspiration for bringing people together in times of segregation and animosity. 

Civic Europe assists civil society actors by providing them with funding and mentoring to implement their project ideas. It funds up to 15 local projects with grants of up to €50,000 each.

Selection criteria 

Funding is available for initiatives and project ideas that: 


  • Strengthen active citizenship and democracy: Initiatives and project ideas that contribute to civic education in their local regions and encourage civic engagement.
  • Are accessible and (try to) engage perspectives from various ends of the local voices: Initiatives and project ideas that invite a wide range of opinions and actors on the issue and include, in particular, residents, citizens, families, newcomers, municipal actors or groups who feel excluded and might find their answers in black-and-white political choices or populist politics. 
  • Take place in relevant region: Initiatives and project ideas whose activities target towns, villages and cities situated outside large urban centers that are largely attuned to polarization or that have a low density of civic cohesion and few possibilities for civic and political learning and engagement (socalled civic deserts).  
  • Strive for impact: Initiatives and project ideas whose impact on re-establishing relationships across (divided) communal actors and (re-) activating the whole field of civic participation in the local context would be explicitly visible and measurable after the end of the funding period. 

Eligibility criteria 

  • Regional restriction: We fund non-profit organizations only from: Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. 
  • Legal status: Organizations of a non-commercial legal form (“registered non-profit organization”).
    Possible organizational forms, depending on national legal regulations concerning charitable/non-profit character, could be: NGOs, cooperatives, collectives, associations, clubs, a non-profit private limited company, non-profit public limited company, non-for-profit corporations, etc.