What is Citizens for Europe?

A platform to identify and exchange experiences with hundreds of organisations and initiatives throughout Europe.

A team of committed experts who develop the platform, connect you with the community and are available to help you overcome your organisation’s challenges.

A community of engaged European citizens from NGOs, foundations, media, public authorities, willing to expand their networks, share resources and exchange good (and bad) practices.

The Story

Civil society engagement across national borders needs resilient and flexible structures. Citizens for Europe (CFEU) is a community of organizations that provide each other with expertise, discuss ideas and implement projects.

CFEU is a community of over 450 civil society organizations (CSOs) committed to a participative, diverse and democratic Europe. Since its founding in 2010, CFEU has been committed to strengthening civil society actors in their structures. The initiators of this network aim to use cooperation incentives to create synergies between CSOs, thereby strengthening civil society in Europe.

Activate and strengthen the structures of European civil societies

As one of the initiators of CFEU the Fondation Charles Léopold Meyer pour le Progrès de l’homme provides generous monetary and networking support to the community. However, the decision-making body is the Core Team. The group comprises of grant makers and grantees who carry the project and collectively decide about any support given. The Core Team consists of a heterogeneous group of dedicated activists with diverse expertise from different organizations and engagement areas.

It is important to note that CFEU itself does not have a legal structure. The deliberate decision not to build up a legal structure came from the conviction that innovation thrives best in an environment of co-dependencies. Sharing administrative tasks provides a system of checks and balances that allows for more transparency and ownership in the project than a single legal body could provide. Therefore, as a funding network CFEU relies on partner organisations to fulfill some administrative tasks and a small team of paid staff, a Program Manager and a Network Coordinator, to maintain operations.

Today, CFEU is a civil society infrastructure that specializes in 1) networking and thematic exchange for a community of CSOs as well as 2) awarding of seed funding for projects with democratic innovation potential. Among many other projects the support to the community comprises of, but is not limited to campaigns for voting rights for third-country nationals in Germany, discussions on women in politics in France, or online projects to analyze voting behavior in the European Parliament in Brussels. The strategy of supporting CSOs in building their work structures and making them strong and independent players will continue to be the goal of CFEU.