EU Assistance for CSO sector

EU Assistance for CSO sector


In post COVID-19 era civil society organisations (CSO) must be the drivers of change.


The European Union is a longstanding global champion of civil society, and the largest provider of assistance to CSOs from partner countries. In the Republic of Moldova, the EU’s overall objective towards civil society is to contribute to its development in becoming a stronger actor, actively participating in decision and policy-making and in implementing the EU-Moldova Association Agreement (AA), especially taking into account the EU candidate status received by Moldova in June 2022.


The EU strongly believes in promoting the role of civil society as an essential domestic actor  in the implementation of the EU-Moldova Association Agreementfacilitating CSOs’ oversight role and building their capacities, and enhancing the role of civil society as an active and independent development actor.


At the EU level, support towards civil society envisions the following results:

  • An enabling environment for civil society will be promoted through favourable regulatory frameworks in line with international standards;
  • Award of civil society fellowships to strengthen civic activists’ capacities to engage constructively with communities and authorities;
  • EU outreach to grassroots organisations, including those operating outside capitals or in conflict-affected regions, and in local languages, as well as women’s organisations;
  • Support in new areas, such as social innovation and creating a more favourable ecosystem for social economy and social entrepreneurship will help to broaden the scope of reform and reach out to new actors;
  • The EU will further develop strategic partnership with CSOs, enhance re-granting to local organisations and engage with social partners (trade unions and employers’ organisations).

 The EU as well as the representatives of the EU Member States meets regularly with CSOs. Bi-annual meetings are organised prior to the Human Rights dialogue and the Association Councils. CSOs are also consulted before and during new EU programme identification. CSOs, including grassroots organisations, are also consulted on strategic documents such as the Association Agenda and Implementation Report as well as the Democracy Action Plan, Country Level Implementation Plan, the Multi-annual Indicative Programme and the Annual Action Programmes.


The European Union is the largest donor to Moldovan CSO sector. The EU assistance to CSOs is channeled through diverse regional, thematic projects and programmes, and on a bilateral basis. As of beginning of 2022, 22 EU funded projects carried out by CSOs were under implementation, with a total amount of more than EUR 22 million (mainstreamed and targeted support to CSOs). Other European donors presently active in this area include: Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden (in alphabetic order) and Switzerland (the list is not exhaustive).


Overview of EU bilateral funding for civil society in Moldova





2022 (forecast)

2023 (forecast)