Support to civil society is a key priority for the EEA Grants 2014-2021, funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in 15 EU Member States in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics. Ten per cent of the total country allocations is set aside for a programme for civil society in each beneficiary state. The Active Citizens Fund is established under the priority sector ‘Culture, Civil Society, Good Governance and Fundamental Rights and Freedoms’, one of the five priority sectors agreed between the donors and the European Union.
The allocation to the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria, is EUR 15 500 000, provided by the donor-states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The Program will operate until 2024 and shall contribute to the overall objectives of the EEA and Norway Grants, to reduce economic and social disparities, and to strengthen bilateral relations between the beneficiary and donor states.
The objective of the Active Citizens Fund is: “Civil society and active citizenship strengthened and vulnerable groups empowered”. The fund shall seek to develop the long-term sustainability and capacity of the civil society sector, strengthening its role in promoting democratic participation, active citizenship and human rights.
Roma Scholarship Program (Next Roma Med) is implemented within the framework of the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria under the European Economic Area (EEA) Financial Mechanism 2014 – 2021. Donor states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have awarded EUR 15 500 000 to the Active Citizens Fund in Bulgaria per a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Republic of Bulgaria. The objective of the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria is: “Civil society and active citizenship strengthened and vulnerable groups empowered”.
Mentorship support for the next generation of Roma Health professionals will complement the Next Roma Med (Roma Scholarship program). The objective of the project is to promote educational inclusion and achievement of Roma scholars involved in Next Roma Med program. They will receive mentorship support to help them successfully graduate from medical universities and colleges so that they contribute to a new, strong generation of Roma health professionals and contribute towards solving persistent health issues in the Roma community.