The moment of implementation of the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria is unique. The reason for this is because it coincides with a period of transformations that does not even question the speed at which we move but only the direction. And when it comes to issues such as human rights and democracy, we feel that we are at a crossroads – not only we in Bulgaria but also Europe as a whole. In this sense, the opportunities that we have today, may not exist in two or three years. This was what Georgi Stoytchev, Executive Director of the Open Society Institute – Sofia said during the opening of the information meeting organized by the Operator of the Active Citizens Fund in Bulgaria.
Probably, after the expiry of this program period of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area, there will be other similar programs in support of civil society, Stoytchev said. “The opportunities which we have today, however, might not exist in two or three years. That’s why I would really like our attitude to the Program to be as it is the last one. Because the challenges we address today might not be addressed in two or three years when we would have a contest under the same program”, Stoytchev continued. He paid special attention to the contents expected by the applicant organizations. “It will be a pity if the projects under this program are reduced to a series of round tables and conferences without having a real impact of the environment. This would be a missed opportunity”, he said.
About 200 representatives of non-governmental organizations gathered at the information meeting organized by Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria held in Sofia. During the event, Elitsa Markova (Program Manager of the Fund), Desislava Velkova (Deputy Program Manager) and Veliko Sherbanov (Financial Director of the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria) outlined the major priorities within the framework of the First Strategic Projects Contest: the specific targets, eligibility conditions and features related to the completion of the budget matrix and the eligible costs of the contest. Milen Mintchev (Open Society Institute – Sofia) presented the Electronic Proposal Submission System (EPSS).