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The Nordic Council of Ministers Open Call Funding Opportunity for Nordic-Russian co-operation

03.05.21 | Støttemulighet
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.


tir, 15/06/2021 - 23:59

Objective of the funding opportunities

The overall objective of the funding opportunities is to contribute to prosperous and peaceful development in the region by fostering close relationships and by Nordic and Russian partners working even more closely together, and to continue to engage Russia as an active partner in regional co-operation in the Baltic Sea and the Barents Sea areas.

There are two entries to this funding opportunity. Read the guidelines and instructions for the two entries below. As a starting point the criteria are the same, and a distinction is mentioned, when it is applicable. 

1) The Open Call focuses on all projects of mutual Nordic and Russian interest anchored in co-operation and networking.

2) The Civil Society and Human Rights Initiative focuses on strengthening civil society within all relevant fields of society.

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

Geography, partnership criteria and duration

The funding opportunities support co-operation between the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, including the self-governing areas Faroe Islands, Greenland, Åland Islands and seven regions of Northwest Russia: Arkhangelsk Oblast, Kaliningrad Oblast, Leningrad Oblast, Murmansk Oblast, Pskov Oblast, Republic of Karelia, St Petersburg City. The partnership must as a minimum consist of:

- Minimum two partners from different Nordic countries,

- Minimum one partner from one of the Northwest Russian regions

Eligible partners and participants are: local and regional authorities, civil society, educational institutions, think tanks and business organisations (not private commercial companies). Projects with a Nordic lead partner/administrating body will be favored.

Please note: 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.

Eligible projects and activities

The funding opportunities provide support for projects that are of mutual interest and that strengthen and develop co-operation between the Nordic countries and Northwest Russia. The project activities should focus on and contribute to:

- 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 costs! 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

- Russian partners, except NGO’s, are expected to co-finance 30% (monetary or in-kind) of the project costs of activities that the partner is involved in

- Self-financing (own contribution) is 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: Grant specific positive selection criteria

1) The Open Call focuses on all projects of mutual Nordic and Russian interest anchored in co-operation and networking and should:

- Involve multiple regions in Northwest Russian and more than two Nordic countries,

- Foster co-operation between local authorities and NGOs.


2) The Civil Society and Human Rights Initiative focuses on strengthening civil society within all relevant fields of society and:

- Both small and bigger projects could be funded - 100.000DKK to 500.000DKK,

- Aims at co-operation on improving human rights,

- Involve multiple regions in Northwest Russian and more than two Nordic countries (for bigger projects),

- Involve specific local activities (for small and medium-sized projects),

- Foster co-operation between local authorities and NGOs.

Check-list: Positive general Selection Criteria

These general selection criteria form the basis of evaluation of a given application.

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 ->


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 the above 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-efficiency.

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 Nordic Council of Ministers Secretary General’s final decision. The Secretariat does not provide individual feedback to non-successful applications.

Looking for a partner?

Have a look in this database: 

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 profile 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.