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EU announces Call for Applications to support Independent Media

EU announces Call for Applications to support Independent Media

Deadline: 8-Dec-20

European Union (EU) has announced a call for applications to Support Independent Media Serving the General Interest in the Southern Neighborhood.

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The global objective of this call for proposals is: To support pluralism, independence and resilience of independent media, which act in the public interest as bulwark against authoritarianism, hate speech and dis-information, and to promote critical thinking and civic-oriented mind-set in the population, thus contributing to the democratic aspirations and resilience in the societies in the region of the Southern Neighbourhood.
The specific objective of this call for proposals is: To strengthen the independence of independent media and journalists sewing the public interest.
Priority Issues

The priority(ies) of this call for proposals is/are:

Cash Grants for NGOs to improve access to justice around the world
Foundation Grants of up to € 100,000 to increase people’s resilience to disasters
Cash Grants for NGOs to improve access to justice around the world
Foundation Grants of up to € 100,000 to increase people’s resilience to disasters
The methodology should outline the criteria for the selection of applicants for financial support for third parties and how continued technical support to the third parties will be ensured.
The methodology should outline the regional dimension, how the cooperation and coordination among actors will take place at regional level, and how the regional dimension can be used to ensure the best use of available resources and best possible impact of the activities, including environmentally friendly online solution with relatively low carbon footprint.
The methodology should outline how the action will prioritize expertise by media professionals (e.g. former journalists, editors, publishers, producers etc.) as opposed to professional trainers with minimal or no experience in the media industry. Equally, the methodology should outline how the action will prioritize local expertise, experts, trainers, mentors, etc. with the aim of also supporting and fostering the local media development and media protection community
The methodology should outline how gender equality will be ensured throughout the design of the action. (E.g. A pluralistic independent media needs to count on women’s voices and experiences, which are recurrently marginalised from mainstream media outputs and information, mostly gender blind and male-centred. In this respect, the methodology should outline how both women, and young women and men, will be considered and included as both producers and recipients of impartial and well-researched information and media content)
The methodology should outline whether and how diaspora communities from Neighbourhood South countries residing in another Neighbourhood South country will be involved in the project.
The methodology should outline how the action will ensure that independent media is inclusive and representative of the plurality of voices and experiences that conform the rich social tissue of the Southern Mediterranean region, and how vulnerable groups are addressed, represented and heard (i.e. women, youth and minorities).
The methodology should outline how the sustainability of the results and created networks will be ensured beyond the lifetime of the programme
The methodology should outline how the action will ensure that the support is provided in a partnership-like approach, developing the concrete support with the media outlet, journalist or other media professional as tailor-made as possible, based on needs and mutual trust, while allowing for flexibility in order to accommodate the volatile political and economic context in the region. The administrative burden should be absolutely minimal in order not to divert the scarce resources and staff available to independent media and journalist.
The methodology should outline how the action will ensure that at least minimal standards of working conditions (e.g. fair and gender equal salaries, job safety, zero tolerance to gender inequality — including gender-based violence and harassment, decent work principles, etc.) are respected during the implementation of the present action.
The methodology should outline how the action will ensure the security to protect the safety, security and integrity of beneficiaries where and as appropriate during the implementation and documentation of the action. These should be specified for both, operational aspects (e.g. EU and action’s visibility, quotes and names, photos, social media posts, etc.) as well as financial/legal aspects (invoices and receipts for expenditure verification, etc.)
Funding Information

The overall indicative amount made available under this call for proposals is EUR 9 000 000. The contracting authority reserves the right not to award all available funds.

Size of grants

Any grant requested under this call for proposals must fall between the following minimum and maximum amounts:
minimum amount: EUR 8 000 000;
maximum amount: EUR 9 000 000.
The expected outcomes are:
Independent and verified information and high quality content (reliable, fad-based, fact-checked, timely and gender responsive) is produced and shared within/out of the region of the Southern Neighbourhood reaching relevant audience (including underserved populations, e.g. language minorities, etc.).
Independent media outlets have improved the viability of their business by exploring, developing and implementing new business models, and new revenue generator models. Particularly, independent media professionals and outlets serving the public interest, including a specific segment of population that would not have access to independent and verified information otherwise continue their service with improved resilience and viability.
Strengthening of existing (and creation of new if absolutely necessary) channels, platforms, networks and communities of practice, as well as of coalitions, alliances and global partnerships for knowledge transfer, experience and good practice sharing, promotion of innovative and creative approaches and solutions, as well as for opportunities to develop business collaboration and/or content co-production, among independent media actors, both women and men, and across all sectors of the media industry.
Eligibility Criteria

Lead applicant(s)

In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must:
be a legal person and
be non-profit-making and
be a specific type of organisation such as: non-governmental organisation, public sector operator, international (inter-governmental) organisation as defined by Article 156 of the EU Financial Regulation and
be established ins a Member State of the European Union or one of the European Neighbourhood Instrument (EM) South partner countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syrial and Tunisia) or a country that is a beneficiary of an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) set up by Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 or a Member State of the European Economic Area (EEA);
be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action with the co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies), not acting as an intermediary.
In addition to the criteria listed above, the lead applicant must:
be an organisation or be in a partnership of organisation(s) with a recent proven experience of at least five years (since 2013) in the field of media development, and
have recent proven experience (since 2015) in awarding, managing and monitoring the implementation of grants, including coaching of grantees and on-the-job aiming at strengthening their project management capacities.

Co-applicants participate in designing and implementing the action, and the costs they incur are eligible in the same way as those incurred by the lead applicant.
Co-applicants must satisfy the eligibility criteria as applicable to the lead applicant himself.
Co-applicants must sign the mandate form.
If awarded the grant contract, the co-applicant(s) (if any) will become beneficiary(ies) in the action (together with the coordinator)
Affiliated entities
The lead applicant and its co-applicant(s) may act with affiliated entity(ies).
Only the following entities may be considered as affiliated entities to the lead applicant and/or to co-applicant(s):
Only entities having a structural link with the applicants (i.e. the lead applicant or a co-applicant), in particular a legal or capital link This structural link encompasses mainly two notions:
Control, as defined in Directive 2013/34/EU on the annual financial statements, consolidated financial statements and related reports of certain types of undertakings:
Entities affiliated to an applicant may hence be:
Entities directly or indirectly controlled by the applicant (daughter companies or first-tier subsidiaries). They may also be entities controlled by an entity controlled by the applicant (granddaughter companies or second-tier subsidiaries) and the same applies to further tiers of control;
Entities directly or indirectly controlling the applicant (parent companies). Likewise, they may be entities controlling an entity controlling the applicant;
Entities under the same direct or indirect control as the applicant (sister companies).
Membership, i.e. the applicant is legally defined as a e.g. network, federation, association in which the proposed affiliated entities also participate or the applicant participates in the same entity (e.g. network, federation, association,…) as the proposed affiliated entities.
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