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.

Since its founding in 2010, CFEU is committed to strengthening civil society actors in their structures. Today, CFEU is a community of over 500 CSOs committed to a more participative, diverse and democratic Europe. At CFEU we are convinced that cooperation creates synergies between civil society organizations (CSOs) and strengthens civil society all over 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. In the inception phase in 2010, two guiding questions were raised: (1) How to reduce the competition between CSOs on a daily basis and (2) What role do networks of CSOs play in the European political and social context?

Within the last  years, CFEU developed from a project into a sustainable support structure for CSOs in Europe. Actors without access to information about funding, without a network of like-minded organizations and without the possibility to build up own communication structures now have a place where their ideas thrive and are being into practice, together.

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.

Learn more about Citizens for Europe work in the What we do section!