Duration: 1 November 2019 – 31 December 2019

The Study Tour’s aim is that the members of the working group “Gender Equality” get to know the activities of Bulgarian NGOs working in the field of Gender Equality, share their experience and to work out common strategies and projects based on this experience. The participants will receive practical knowledge and skills, widen the work horizon and develop their international, organisational and networking competencies.

The project consists of three parts:

  • Conference on the topic “anti-gender turn in Bulgaria and what NGOs, the Ombudsman Office and the Representation of the European Commission and the Parliament can do”
  • Working meeting to share experience and develop strategies for the working group “Gender Equality”
  • Development of common projects within the working group

Working / Expert Group involved: Gender Equality


Human Rights Education Youth Network, Belgium
Victim Support Europe, Belgium
Green Light for the Civil Initiatives Foundation, Bulgaria
Aleksandro Herceno Fondas, Lithuania
Centre for Social and Labour Rights, Russia
Ivanovo Centre for Gender Studies, Russia
Russian LGBT Network, Russia


Project Duration: 15 October 2019 – 29 February 2020

The study tour consists of two one-day workshops in two EU member states – Poland and the Czech Republic. The workshops pursue two main goals: To share the findings of the annual Report on the State of Civil Society in the EU and Russia with a wider community in two countries, and to discuss with the local civil society scholars and experts how local civil society actors respond to the current tendencies of shrinking civil society space and the need for and possible formats and synergy effects of cooperation between civil society actors and researchers.

The study tour increases the visibility of the annual Report on the State of Civil Society in the EU and Russia among local civil society actors and experts. It also strengthens the research profile of the Expert Group both internally and externally through connecting its members to experts (scholars, researchers) in two countries. In addition, it creates conditions for a further in-depth examination of the Report’s empirical findings, more specifically, on how local civil society actors respond to shrinking civil society space.

The Study tour identifies possible forms and formats of cooperation between civil society and civil society researchers and it advances civil society research under the auspices of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum.

Two public discussions on the state of Civil Society will take place in Warsaw and Prague on February 3 and 5, 2020. Members of the Expert Group on Civil Society Research have actively participated in the preparation and production of four rich and detailed editions of the annual Report on the State of Civil Society in the EU and Russia. This year’s edition focused on the UK, Estonia, Slovakia, Sweden and Russia.

The public discussions will focus on what was found when answering the larger question of what is going on nowadays with civil societies and civil society actors in the EU and Russia. Experts and contributors to the various editions of the Report will present the chapters on Poland, Germany, Czechia and Russia. They will share their main thoughts on both the challenges that exist for civil society actors in these countries and, importantly, on the practical solutions to these challenges. The public discussions seek to strengthen the on-going research, and their main priority is to increase the visibility of the EU-Russia Civil society Forum’s findings by sharing them with a wider local audience. This goes hand in hand with the Forum’s guiding research approach: research together with civil society and for civil society.

For more information on the discussions in Warsaw and Prague:

Working / Expert Group involved: Civil Society Research 


Project Duration: 1 December 2019 – 31 March 2020

This study tour aims at learning about alternative models of funding. The participants will learn about best practices, and acquire knowledge on three models of fundraising that don’t involve institutionalized money. Traditional methods are no longer satisfying the needs of the Russian NGOs which encounter great challenges in obtaining international institutional funding and whose needs cannot be covered by the available domestic funding. Considering that alternative funding can result in less dependence on institutional agendas, it’s critically important to seek resilient income streams for CSOs’ work through corporations, private donors, as well as with the help of social entrepreneurship.

Working Group involved: Public Health

AFEW International, Netherlands
Stichting Skosh, Netherlands
Centre for Social Support “Navigator”, Russia
FOCUS-MEDIA Foundation, Russia
Humanitarian Action, Russia
Kovcheg-Anti-AIDS, Russia
LUNa – Centre for Social Assistance, Russia
Charitable Foundation “Open Medical Club”, Russia (Supporter)