NFRP - MATRA for regional cooperation in the Eastern Partnership (EaP)

The Kingdom of the Netherlands opens a call for proposals in the framework of the NFRP – MATRA for regional cooperation in the Eastern Partnership countries.  The goal of this pilot program is to explore and support opportunities for cross border CSO cooperation in the Eastern Partnership region in the field of democratization, good governance and strengthening of the rule of law.

Deadline 31 January 2020 @ 23:59 CET.


In 2009 the European Union (EU) agreed to launch the EaP as a specific Eastern European dimension of the European Neighborhood Policy and a way to shape the EU’s relationship with a selected group of six Eastern neighbors. The aim of the EU was to create a consolidated, multilayered approach to the Eastern Neighborhood which was a natural result of the rounds of the EU enlargement in 2004 and 2007.

The launch and further development of the EaP triggered partner countries not only to intensify their relations with the EU, but also stimulated strengthening of relations between the six countries on different levels.

This form of cooperation and exchange of knowledge and experience(s) among peers with many similarities can be read as a positive result of the EaP. The Netherlands would like to support this trend and offer to civil society organizations in the six EaP countries a new support instrument - The NFRP-MATRA programme for regional cooperation in the EaP region.

Through this programme interested partners from across the EaP region can apply for funding of projects in the field of:

  1. Democratization processes;
  2. Development of the rule of law;
  3. Strengthening public institutions, and
  4. Support and development of civil society.

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated fragility of international cooperation on the level of both the state and civil society. It exposed great benefits of an active civil society which is able to quickly react and consolidate, especially in small communities. The program is not directly aimed at supporting initiatives that counter the negative effects of the pandemic. However, applicants are eligible to propose coordinated international activities which can contribute to limiting the negative fall-out of COVID-19 in terms of democracy, the rule of law and/or good governance.

Eligible initiatives must cover at least 2 EaP countries and focus on capacity building through activities like, for example: trainings, experience sharing, twinning, study visits, thematic workshops, etc.

Special preference will be given to projects involving at least one of the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus.

Guidelines for MATRA for regional cooperation in the EaP region:

  1. Program is open to the Civil Society in the EaP region (Eligible types of actors: registered and non-registered NGOs, CSOs, media related organizations). A combination of different types of actors is welcomed but not obligatory.
  2. Organizations with a strong connection with and focus on the EaP region that are located in an EU country are also eligible to apply, on condition  to involve at least 2 partners located in different EaP countries into the project.
  3. “EaP regional approach” is of crucial importance: minimum 1 actor per targeted EaP country and minimum 2 EaP countries must be involved. (Consortium of min. 2 partners from min. 2 EaP countries; at least 1 partner per 1 EaP country).
  4. Duration of the implementation of the activity (project) should not exceed 12 months (from the moment of start of the project).
  5. Thematic scope: Democratization processes; Strengthening of the rule of law; Strengthening public institutions; Support and development of civil society.
  6. Applications are submitted in English. An application is a combination of the project proposal, detailed budget of the project (in Excel) and Partnership agreement (signed by all partners involved in the project.)  Applicants are advised to use the provided application form.
  7. Maximum allowed grant is 80.000 EUR (min. 15% contribution from the project applicants; In-kind (non-financial) contribution is allowed. Grant cannot be used as a bridge funding to other projects funded by the NL. 
    When an applicant is already a beneficiary of another NL funding, applicant must clearly prove that situation of double funding of the same activities does not exist.  
  8. Deadline for submission of applications: 31 January 2021 @ 23:59 CET
  9. Complete applications should be submitted through the e-mail address
  10. For additional information please also contact: note that all replies will be given in English).