How Eurochild works to unlock EU funds for civil society as a leading network for children’s rights

Blog by Ciaran O’Donnell, Eurochild Partnerships and Programmes Coordinator, on how Eurochild approaches EU funding calls to support the child rights sector in Europe.

The end of March brought with it the end of the latest EU’s Citizens, Equality, Rights, and Values (CERV) funding call dedicated to children’s rights – or CERV-CHILD as many of us in the sector know it by – and it’s been a big one. With a total of €12 million available for funding, it is the largest single EU funding call for children’s rights yet! 

Key themes for projects in this call were children’s mental health, embedding children’s rights at national & local levels, children’s participation, and increasing the understanding of democratic rights and citizenship from childhood.

For many of us in the child rights sector, it has been a hugely busy five months of brainstorming, consortia building, and submitting writing proposals. Core to my role in Eurochild is coordinating this type of work for the Secretariat.

As the largest European network of child rights civil society organisations, I believe we have a crucial role in helping our sector access funds. Since strengthening Eurochild’s community of children’s rights civil society organisations across Europe is a core Strategic Goal of ours, I also endeavour to facilitate partnerships within our membership wherever possible.

Due to our limitations – we have a limited capacity to join EU projects due to co-financing requirements resulting from our EU-funded core operating grant – we cannot join as many projects as we would like to. Instead, we try to leverage our role as a leading voice on children’s rights issues to raise the profile of our members’ proposals, including in EU calls like the CERV-CHILD one. We do this in several ways:

  • Through hundreds of engagements – via emails, calls, and conversations – with members and non-members alike on partnership requests, facilitating exchanges, and advising on proposals based on our evidence of children in need across Europe.  
  • We held our first ever Eurochild Café on EU funds in January, where members (and members of members) joined to exchange project ideas, look for partnerships, and learn about each other’s work. We are going to keep organising these informal meetings, including in-person at our upcoming Networking Convention in Malta this July!
  • We issued 14 Letters of Support to endorse proposals that have the potential to improve children’s lives, prioritising our members’ work.
  • We joined 2 proposals alongside members as full partners in priority areas – early childhood development & child participation; and strengthening civil society child rights networks in the Balkan region. We also joined 1 project as a non-funded associate partner, focused on improving child participation in child protection systems in Spain.  

In total, Eurochild supported 34 members across 20 countries in this funding call – 1 in 6 of our total membership. If all projects we support are successful, it could total upwards of €7 million for programmes that can have a positive impact on children’s lives in our region, especially for those growing up in poverty and other forms of adversity.

We wish all of our members and partners the very best of luck with their proposals for this CERV-CHILD call.

Looking ahead for the rest of 2024, we have some exciting developments in our network to come on funding opportunities, so watch this space!

Further information for Eurochild members only

Photo from Eurochild General Assembly 2019

Related News/Events

18 January 2024

Exploring partnerships together

In Eurochild we are continuing our work to diversify our income generation and strengthen our organisational sustainability. In times of polycrises, increased threats to children’s rights within and beyond Europe,…
read more
5 December 2023

Eurochild Café on EU funds

17 January 2024 – 14:00-15:00 CET In late 2023, the European Commission released its latest calls for the CERV (Citizen, Equality, Rights and Values) Programme and the Erasmus+ Programme. As…
read more