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Nordic Council of Ministers’ funding programme for NGO co-operation in the Baltic Sea Region

03.05.21 | Fjármögnunarmöguleiki
Important message:

Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, regrettably this spring the Nordic Council of Ministers will not as previous years announce the Baltic Sea Region NGO programme, the Open Call Russia, nor the Civil Society & Human Rights Initiative for Nordic- Russian co-operation.

The NCM is looking into the possibilities for announcing a call later this year. Requirements, including partner structure, may be adjusted. Information will be posted on this page when available. The below information is from previous calls and does not apply.


Kall eftir tillögum
Þri, 15/06/2021 - 23:59

Objective of the programme

The overall objective of the programme is to promote co-operation between Nordic, Baltic, Polish, Belarusian and Russian NGOs to underline the key role that NGOs play in building networks and cross-border co-operation in the Baltic Sea Region. The programme has existed since 2006, and NGOs are invited to apply for funding from the programme for international co-operation projects. Read the guidelines and instructions below.

Applicants must take these into consideration, when applying:

Focus areas of the programme

  • Social and health
  • Culture
  • Environment
  • Development of democracy

Please note: This call will be open 3 May – 15 June 2021

Geography, partnership criteria and duration

Only NGOs can apply. Involvement of other actors is encouraged when feasible, but the costs of such cannot be covered by the grant. A project should last up to 18 months. The starting date should as a rule be indicated not earlier than 1 November 2021. All applicants can expect an answer in September 2021. Successful applicants should expect a contract in October 2021.

 The minimum partnership requirements:

- One Nordic partner (DK, FI, IS, NO, SE including the self-governing areas Faroe Islands, Greenland, Åland Islands), and

- One Baltic or Polish partner (EE, LV, LT, PL), and

- One Russian or Belarusian partner (RU, BY).

Eligible projects and activities

The programme will provide support for projects that are of mutual interest and that strengthen and develop cross-border co-operation in the Baltic Sea Region. The project activities should focus on:

- Launching new initiatives,

- Building capacity and establishing/strengthening networks,

- Ensuring exchange of experiences and best practices,

- Communicate about its results to relevant target groups,

- Having a fair chance to be sustained also when funding from NCM has ended.

Eligible costs and grant size

Eligible costs related to development of networks and exchange of experiences include:

- Travel and accommodation,

- Seminars and conferences,

- Translation costs and expert costs.

- The maximum grant that can be applied for is 500.000 DKK per project.

NOTE! Non-eligible cost! The application must not be designed to help fund the regular activities, administration or projects of other organisations. Funding will not be given to infrastructure projects, e.g. for purchasing IT equipment or to cover construction costs.

Co-financing, self-financing, evaluation and audit

- Self-financing (own contribution) and co-financing are viewed as positive in any application

- Evaluation of the project and its activities is required, and should be included in the budget

- External audit is mandatory, if the grant exceeds 200.000 DKK and the administrating body’s accounts are not audited by the national audit office in one of the Nordic countries.

Check-list - Basis for selection of successful applications: Specific selection criteria

- Relevance to civil society with a view to enhance capacity among the weaker NGOs,

- Own input from the applicant and partners,

- Monetary co-funding; either by applicants and partners own contribution and/or by contribution from a third party.

Check-list: General Selection Criteria

The Nordic Council of Ministers has a vision to create the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030.

Read more about the vision -> https://www.norden.org/en/declaration/our-vision-2030

Russian version, link to:


To achieve this vision, The Nordic Council of Ministers has established a set of strategies priorities for its activities. This means that all operations conducted by the Nordic Council of Ministers include considerations from the following perspectives:

- A green region – together, we will promote a green transition of our societies and work towards carbon neutrality and a sustainable circular and bio-based economy.

- A competitive region – together, we will promote green growth in the region based on knowledge, innovation, mobility and digital integration.

- A socially sustainable region – together, we will promote an inclusive, equal and interconnected region with shared values and strengthened cultural exchange and welfare.

To apply for this call your project must incorporate one or more of these aspects in its preparation, objectivity and activities.  


Consider: Does the project incorporate one or more of the below aspects in its preparation, objective, activities or organisation?

- General Nordic value added. Does the project generate any Nordic synergies, strengthen Nordic co-operation, utilize any specific Nordic competence or alternatively transfer knowledge to or from the Nordic countries?

- Gender equality aspects.

- Involvement of children and youth.

- Coherence between project results and methodology. Expected results should be concrete.

- Consistency between the problems, objectives, activities, and results.

- Clear division of tasks and responsibilities among the relevant stakeholders.- A viable and comprehensive plan for the communication of the project and the results achieved.

- Cost-efficient projects will be given priority.

Project evaluation and selection process

The Nordic Council of Ministers Secretariat is administrating the application procedure and monitoring the implementation of selected projects. Applications will be professionally evaluated, and an advisory group of representatives from the foreign ministries of the five Nordic countries will prioritize the applications to be granted support, and submit a recommendation for the NCM secretary general’s final decision. The Secretariat does not provide individual feedback to unsuccessful applications.

Looking for a partner?

Have a look in this database: https://ngobridges.com/

NGO Non-Governmental Organization Definition

The programme defines NGOs as “non-profit, publicly anchored, civic organisations that are neither owned nor controlled by public authorities, nor by private companies, and which have an open and democratic structure”.

Application process and the documents for the application

Applicants must submit the application form electronically in due time and completed in accordance with instructions, with corresponding annexes and supporting documents attached. Incomplete or late incoming applications will not be considered. All applications, documents and attachments must be in English.

On the very top of this page, you find a "Apply for funding"-button. Press it, and it leads to the online application portal. It is not possible to send in applications, when a call is not active, however, it is possible to create a user and familiarize yourself with the content of the application.

Prepare these obligatory documents for your application:

  1. You need to create a timeline/overview of activities and results, when they will be executed, who is responsible etc. This must be attached to the application in the online portal.
  2. You need to download the budget and communication form below, fill them out, and upload them to our digital application form. All amounts in the budget must be in Danish Kroner!
  3. All the above mentioned forms can be found and downloaded both below and in the application portal itself.
  4. You need to attach a Letter of Commitment from each partner of the project. The file must be in PDF, and should be attached directly in the application in the right chapter, when applying through the portal. It should include a statement of commitment as well as which tasks the partner is responsible for in project for each partner.