Early Announcement of the Small Grants Programme “Protecting Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression in the Western Balkans”

Source/Author: Safejournalists.net
Source/Photo: Safejournalists.net

Civil society organizations that focus on the protection and promotion of human rights, journalists, their associations, networks and media organizations will be invited to apply for the financial support from the small grants programme “Protecting Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression in the Western Balkans”.  

The Call for Proposals will be open on July 25, 2017 and closed on August 31, 2017.  The total value of the small grants programme is 267 000 EUR, to be disbursed to 15 grantees (5 larger regional projects and 10 smaller national projects)  The time frame for the implementation of the supported projects is October 1, 2017 – August 31, 2018.

The small grants programme makes part of a larger project, supported by the European Commission (IPA), Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for advocating media freedom and journalists’ safety, implemented by Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) in partnership with five Western Balkans’ journalists’ organizations – Independent Journalists Association of Serbia (IJAS), Association of BH Journalists (BHJ), Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AJK), Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) and the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (TUMM). The Call for Proposals with accompanying guidelines and forms will be published on the project website safejournalists.net and all of the aforementioned partner organizations’ websites.

Small grants programme will support locally and regionally rooted initiatives aiming to protect the freedom of expression and freedom of media. Main applicants for both regional and national grants need to be local civil society organizations (associations, foundations or private institutes or social cooperatives), required to act in partnership with either a locally present media organisation, or a team of independent media professionals (journalists). Only journalists will be eligible to participate as natural persons in the co-applicant role, while the main applicant will have to be a legal person. Journalists’ associations and networks can act as main applicants in case they are registered as civil society organizations.


Two main types of actions and target groups are in the focus of the small grants programme:

  1. Actions aiming to alleviate identified forms of pressures placed on journalists. In these actions, journalists are the main target group, while human rights organizations assume the role of supporters of journalists.
  2. Actions aiming to alleviate pressures placed on human rights activists. In these actions, activists being prevented to exercise the freedom of speech are the main target group, while journalists/local media assume their role as reporters/witnesses.


Types of activities that will be supported in the scope of the small grants programme include the following:

  • Action research, policy research or investigative journalism research of different models of pressures exerted over journalists/media and activists
  • Production of reports in various media forms, including cultural productions; its publishing, dissemination and promotion
  • Public advocacy and citizen mobilization in support of the freedom of speech and media
  • Provision of legal assistance to journalists and/or human rights activists, including strategic litigation of selected cases indicative of broader, systemic violations of freedom of expression and media freedom.


The expected number of grants distributed is 15, organized into two grant schemes for:

  • Regional actions, which are expected to include participants from at least 3 out of 5 project WB countries. Average size of grants is 30 000 – 40 000 EUR with a co-financing rate of 10%. Indicatively, a total of 5 regional grants will be disbursed contingent on sufficient applications of high quality.
  • National actions, which are expected to include participants within a given country. Average size of grants is 5 000 – 10 000 EUR with a co-financing rate of 10%. Indicatively, a total of 10 national grants will be disbursed, contingent on sufficient applications of high quality.


All grant applications will need to be prepared and submitted in English language.


The small grants programme is financed by the European Commission; it will be implemented in accordance with EC sub-granting practice and General Conditions of the EuropeAid/150147/DH/ACT/PRAREG Civil Society, Facility and Media Programme, with technical assistance support of the SOLIDARNA Foundation for human rights and solidarity.

In case you would like us to send you a notification of the publication of the Call for Proposals, please provide us with your contact information HERE.