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About us

Friends of the Earth-CEPA (Center for Environmental Public Advocacy (FoE-CEPA)) is a not-for-profit non-governmental organisation in Slovakia. The organisation's objectives include promoting environmental, social and economic justice, supporting sustainable regional development and strengthening effective participation of citizens in decision-making processes linked with public interest issues.

FoE-CEPA performs its activities at local, regional, national and international levels. It organizes campaigns, seeks and activates citizens and their groups, and provides educational, publishing and consultation services.

About the Friends of the Earth-CEPA, EU funds and our project

In 2014, the EU funds programming for the new programming period (2014 - 2020) is finishing. Slovakia will get more than 14 billion euro.

In Slovakia, the management and distribution of European funds is associated with many problems such as low transparency and formal approach to the obligation to include partners including non-governmental organizations (NGOs) into decision-making processes. This weakens the possibility of public control and enlarges the space for corrupt behaviour across the whole decision-making process.

NGO are trying to become part of the programming process. However, they are faced with several obstacles. Despite having own professional background, they have not sufficient capacities to work systematically in this area. The whole situation is complicated by bad access to information and low cooperation and communication within civic sector.

EU funds are an important source of funding in many areas, where NGOs are a key stakeholder: social inclusion, social services, environment or rural development, to name just a few. If conditions are favourable, EU funds may become an important source funding the development of civic sector, which provides for an increased transparency and public control of EU funds use.

On country levels, EU funds programming now enters its final stage. Step by step, decisions are made about the content and priorities for the upcoming seven years. Thanks to the coordination and efforts from NGO sector and the cooperation with the Plenipotentiary for the development of civic society, it was possible to push through several important proposals from NGO sector such as investment priority aimed at the development of civic society in the operational programme Efficient administration, use of community lead local development approach in Integrated operation regional programme. Ministries have also accepted NGO recommendations in the environmental issues, energy sectors and social inclusion.

Friends of the Earth-CEPA have coordinated the Work group for the EU funds programming at the Governmental Board for NGOs, monitored the programming process and communicated with ministries on regular basis. Our experience from the previous programming periods has shown that a well-formulated framework for EU funds is not enough. In order to use EU funds in a meaningful way, there must be clear rules and procedures for the preparation, selection and execution of projects (forms, financial rules, reporting procedures, project evaluation).

These are the issues to be decided during the execution of our project. The whole programming process is late and we have to take into account the fact that ministries will be preparing important documents under time stress and NGOs will have to react very fast. Sufficient capacities, information and cooperation will decide whether NGO succeed. This is our project.

In order to support efficient participation of NGOs in the programming, we aim to improve coordination within the civic sector and fasten the communication to be able to decide and prepare papers and analysis mutually soon enough. We will try to improve access to information for NGOs, collect information and convey these to NGOs and the public in an understandable way.

Simultaneously, we will enforce NGO proposals and requirements on the level of ministries and European authorities. We will concentrate on good conditions supporting the development of civic society, on improving NGO participation on the EU funds use planning on local level and financial and administrative rules for EU funds use. We will support those NGOs active in programming processes.

After the programming process finishes, we will support NGO participation in the monitoring of EU funds use. We will concentrate on monitoring and commenting calls for proposals and on strengthening the civic and NGO participation in local development planning, which will be the basis for EU funds distribution on local level.

Goal of the project

Project aims to strengthen the participation of civic society on EU funds programming and monitoring and to deepen public knowledge about the possibilities to be included into the programming process and come with own initiative. Our goal is to coordinate representatives of civic sector and serve as an ally between civic society and our participation in programming processes.


April 2014 – September 2015

Planned activities

  1. Regional workshops related to programming and inclusion of partners into the remaining programming processes
  2. informing the professional public and partners via www.eufondy.org
  3. creating thematic expert groups aimed at issues such as local economy, energy…
  4. representing the civic sector in work groups, which prepare individual operational programmes and in monitoring committees, negotiations on ministries and participation on consultations
  5. influence at least two public decisions in a participatory way – CLLD approach and support of civic society in EU funds.
  6. enforcing requirements coming from the civic sectors on EU level (European Commission, European Parliament).


Centrum vzdelávania neziskových organizácií, CEE Bankwatch Network


The project has been funded through Island, Liechtenstein and Norway grants from the Programme Active Citizenship and Inclusion, which is carried out by Ekopolis Foundation in cooperation with Children of Slovakia Foundation and SOCIA foundation. Donors have no responsibility for presented views.


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