The project “Strengthening the role of civil society organizations in Bulgaria for the protection and promotion of fundamental European rights and values” – ProEUvaluesBG, brings together three civil society organizations with experience in supporting the civil sector and democratic participation at both national and European level. Partners in the implementation of the project are the Open Society Institute – Sofia Foundation, Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation and the International NGO Association European Citizen Action Service (ECAS).
Open Society Institute – Sofia (OSIS) is a Bulgarian not for profit organization with over 30 years of experience in providing grant funding to support the civil sector in Bulgaria. Since its establishment in 1990, the Institute has advocated for the democratization of public and political life, worked to expand civil liberties and respect for fundamental human rights, and helped strengthen civil sector institutions.
Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation (WCIF) is a civil organization registered in public benefit in 2001, as the successor of the Bulgarian program of the British organization Charity Know How. WCIF supports the initiative – civic leaders, groups and organizations – to work more effectively for their causes, target groups and communities and thereby change the environment and improve the quality of people’s lives. The Foundation promotes philanthropic practices in Bulgaria as an opportunity for social change and works actively with private individual and corporate donors to achieve this. WCIF provides funding, technological resources, knowledge and skills to individuals and organizations. The focus of the Foundation’s giving programs are the themes of social change, education, culture, democracy, equality, non-discrimination, etc. In 2005, the Foundation was the first in the country to be entrusted with the management of a corporate fund. WCIF has funded more than 2,500 civic initiatives. The Foundation has provided over 15 million BGN, which has directly impacted the lives of 1 million Bulgarian citizens. Currently, WCIF manages a number of individual donor funds, including the Valya Krushkina Fund, FMI initiatives, “You and Lidl for a Better Life”, “Meet and Code”, “For the Children of Milen”.
European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) is an international not for profit organization with members across Europe (over 150 organizations and individuals) and over 30 years of experience. ECAS’s mission is to empower citizens to achieve a more inclusive and stronger European Union by promoting and protecting citizens’ rights and creating and supporting mechanisms that strengthen democratic participation and engagement of citizens and civil society organizations with the EU. In 2021, ECAS opened its first Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) branch in Sofia. The branch uses its accumulated expertise to carry out activities to strengthen democracy and create an active and informed civil society in the region. In addition, ECAS activities also serve to promote CEE challenges and good examples to EU institutions.