DRAFT 19.03.2021- MA/VP


Organisation of Roma Political Schools



Roma Political Schools

Awarding entity

Council of Europe

Directorate General of Democracy

Roma and Travellers Team


Council of Europe – Support democratic governance and promote public trust and accountability


Projects shall be implemented by 15 November 2021.

Reporting requirements shall be completed by 30 November 2021.

Estimated starting date

03 May 2021

Issuance date

31 March 2021

Deadline for applications

21 April 2020






1.     General objective. 4

2.     Means of action. 4

3.     Implementation period. 5

4.     Target stakeholders. 5

5.     Budgetary requirements. 5

6.     Further to the general objective, preference will be given to: 5

7.     The following types of action will not be considered: 5

8.     Funding conditions: 6

9.     Reporting requirements: 6

V.     HOW TO APPLY?. 7

1.     Documents to be submitted: 7

2.     Questions. 7

3.     Deadline for submission. 7

4.     Change, alteration and modification of the application file. 7


1.     Exclusion criteria: 8

2.     Eligibility criteria: 8

3.     Award criteria. 8




-   Appendix I - Application Form

-   Appendix II - Provisional budget (Template)

-   Appendix III - Template Grant Agreement (for information only)

• Complete and sign the Application Form (See Appendix I)
• Attach a provisional budget (using the template reproduced in Appendix II)
• Attach the other supporting documents:
- document certifying the registration of the non-profit entity (e.g. organization/association/ foundation);
- bank /financial statements authorized by a financial officer of the applicant;
- contact details of two referees; 
- CVs or bios of school coordinators and mentors./trainers 

• Send these documents in electronic form (preferably Word and PDF and please also submit the excel version of the budget) to the following e-mail address: Emails should contain the following reference in subject: Call for proposals – GRANTS Roma Political Schools 2021.
• Applications must be received before 21 April 2021 (at 23:59 CET).


I.                   INTRODUCTION

This call for proposals is launched in the framework of the Council of Europe Strategic Action Plan for Roma and Traveller[1] Inclusion (2020‑2025) Priority 5.2. Support democratic governance and promote public trust and accountability. It aims to co-fund national projects aimed at fostering the political participation of Roma. The Council of Europe is looking for grantees to organise Roma Political Schools in the following countries: Albania, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ukraine.

Project proposals shall aim to produce an added value to the Council of Europe efforts in this domain.


The purpose of the schools is to foster the political participation of Roma. The Roma Political Schools train Roma citizens with the aim of bringing Roma closer to local, national and European decision-making bodies, whilst promoting their active participation and interaction with public administration as well as their presence in the public sphere. This includes Roma with the will to participate in local elections and possible national and European elections as representatives of their communities.

The political participation of the Roma communities and the presence of Roma in public services and as elected officials, particularly at local level, are far from reflecting the demographic weight of Roma communities. In addition, the generational shift that includes a growing number of Roma with solid educational qualifications, with an emerging consciousness and a renewed vision of community leadership and community organising, is not yet directly translated into Roma presence in the political sphere.

The Council of Europe has been a privileged witness to some of these developments since 2013. Through its actions in the ROMED2, ROMACT and, more recently, ROMACTED joint programmes of the European Union and the Council of Europe, dynamics of local community organising in the participating municipalities have been successfully promoted. This action led to the emergence of a large number of Roma community leaders, many of them young, with strong potential and motivation to get further involved and bring about positive transformations of their communities. This group of people are proud of their Roma identity, have a new understanding of the importance of political participation and of the need for a more efficient collective representation of their communities. They have developed the necessary will, confidence and competences to be part of the public sphere.


The Roma and Travellers Team of the Council of Europe also coordinates its action with the Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe in order to generate qualified applicants of Roma origin for future editions of these schools, as well as to benefit from adapting the training and pedagogical methods together with the experience and institutional framework generated by these schools in participating member states.


The overall indicative available budget under this call for proposals is € 220,000.00 (two hundred and twenty thousand Euros). The Council of Europe intends to award 6 grants (one per country) having maximum amounts as follows:


Maximum award


€ 25 000


€ 40 000


€ 35 000


€ 40 000


€ 40 000


€ 40 000

Subject to availability of funds and extension of the Project initial duration, the Council of Europe reserves the right not to award all available funds, and/or to redistribute the available funds in a different manner depending on the project proposals received and on the outcome of the call for proposals.

IV.              REQUIREMENTS

1.      General objective

The grants will fund projects designed to foster the political participation of Roma by organising the Roma political schools (this includes at least 2 residential workshops and also a comprehensive mentoring scheme to participants) in one of the countries of the Call. Please note that applicants must organise and implement the Roma Political Schools in their own country of registration.

2.      Means of action

The Grantee shall organise at least two residential workshops in their country of registration. A group of minimum 20 participants should be identified to take part in the Roma Political Schools and participate in two residential workshops. The participants must openly declare themselves as Roma. The minimum duration of one workshop will be 2,5 training days. It is expected that the total number of residential training days to be between 5 to 7 days. Due to the present restrictions and impact of the COVID19 pandemic the residential seminars can be adapted to a series of on-line seminars and hybrid meetings. This adaptation requires prior agreement of the Council of Europe. All the residential activities have to follow the preventive measures as per the requirements of the national public health authorities.  

The training workshops should strive to use innovative educational concepts that focus on actions supporting democratic participation and civic activism of Roma people who want to strengthen the role of their local communities and affirm the power of their ideas. The use of varied and diverse educational approaches and methods is important for these training sessions. The participants should have a diverse educational level and backgrounds.  

It is expected that the training workshops provide a balanced combination of formal and non-formal educational methods, with academic presentations, thematic participative debates, storytelling and inspirational examples, group work, individual mentoring, skills sessions, etc. The workshop themes can also use as a basis recommendations formulated at Council of Europe Dialogue meetings with Roma and Traveller civil society, and International Roma Women Conferences. The training sessions should favour approaches that are participant-centred, participatory and innovative, building from needs and concrete examples to ideas, then from ideas to development of strategies focused on impact.

Each applicant shall foresee in the estimated budget the payment of fees to a pedagogical team that is typically composed of a coordinator of the Roma Political School, trainers and presenters that are responsible to prepare and take part in delivering the training sessions and assisting/mentoring participants in between the residential workshops. A description of the training contents for each of the residential workshops should be included in the application form. The individual sessions of the workshops shall cover subjects related to engagement in politics such as: Political systems, political culture and electoral systems; Roma history, history of Roma participation, Roma emancipation; Rights and participation of minority groups; democracy, rule of law and human rights; Racism, discrimination, antigypsyism; Leadership and public service; Community organising and civil society; Gender equality, leadership skills and Roma women participation; Political parties; Public administration; Specific skills training; Mentoring/coaching elected candidates for effective use of political knowledge and skills.

The specific final content of the workshops/training sessions will be closely coordinated with the Council of Europe’s Roma and Travellers Team.

For the purposes of this Call, “action” shall mean a workshop, and “activities” shall mean the different components of each workshop and mentoring scheme as further detailed in the Application Form (Appendix I).

3.      Implementation period

The implementation period of the projects should start on 3 May 2021 (see indicative timetable under VIII. below) and shall not extend beyond 15 November 2021.

Reporting requirements shall be completed on 30 November 2021 at the latest.

Projects completed prior to the date of submission of the applications will be automatically excluded. As regard projects started prior to the date of submission of the applications, or prior to the date of signature of the grant agreement, only those costs incurred after the date of submission of the grant application could be eligible (provided the agreement concerned so provides).

4.      Target stakeholders

Projects should target in particular the following key stakeholders:

-          Individuals of Roma origin to engage in political action and participation at local, national and international level;

-          Roma led organisations with previous experience in organising similar events/projects;

-          Experienced trainers and mentors;

The above list is not exhaustive, and projects may propose to target other relevant stakeholders, while keeping in mind the general objective of the Project.

5.      Budgetary requirements

Project proposals shall be accompanied by a draft budget (See Template Budget, in Appendix II) amounting to the thresholds mentioned in Section III of the call for proposals. The estimated budget must be consistent, accurate, clear, complete and cost-effective, in the light of the activities proposed.

Each Grantee shall also be required to contribute to the project either by way of its own resources or by contribution from third parties. Co-financing may take the form of financial or human resources, in-kind contributions or income generated by the action or project.

An estimated budget should include at minimum typical costs for the organisation of this type of workshops such as: travel expenses for participants and experts (Local transportation); provide accommodation;  audio/video equipment (rental); rental of meeting rooms for training sessions; trainership and mentorship fees; pedagogical materials, document production and photocopying of training materials, communication and visibility, as well as miscellaneous expenses.

6.      Further to the general objective, preference will be given to:

·         Projects/actions proposed by Roma led organisations with experience in organising similar events/projects;

·         Projects/actions targeting individuals of Roma origin to engage in political action and participation at local, national and international level;

·         Projects/actions involving mentorship of young Roma to engage in political action and participation local, national and international level and after they have been elected if relevant.

·         Projects/actions that create synergies with relevant institutions in the context of political participation such as parliaments, universities, local and central authorities, political think-thanks etc. 

7.      The following types of action will not be considered:

·         Projects/actions providing financial support to third parties (re-granting schemes);

·         Projects/actions concerning only or mainly individual scholarships for studies or training courses;

·         Projects/actions supporting political parties.

8.      Funding conditions:

The funds for each grant should in principle be distributed as follows:

·         80 % will be paid when the Grant Agreement between the two parties is signed;

·         the balance will be paid based on actual expenditures incurred, and after the presentation and acceptance by the Council of Europe of the final narrative and financial reports for the Grant implementation.

9.      Reporting requirements:

·         narrative reporting requires a full narrative report (maximum 15 pages) on the use made of the grant and a copy of the register of the persons present during each of the activities, including names and signatures of participants;

·         financial reporting requires in particular a statement in the currency in which the Grant Agreement will be concluded (Euros or local currency), in English, stating the payments made for the implementation of the activities, certified by the responsible financial officer of the Grantee, accompanied by “appropriate original supporting documents” (see below). The Council of Europe reserves the right to ask for summary translations of invoices into English. If for legal reasons the original documents must be retained by the Grantee, certified copies must be submitted with the financial statement.

“Appropriate original supporting documents” refers to signed contracts, invoices and acceptances of work (for all transactions), payment authorisation for all transactions should also be provided in case the Grantee uses such practice, and reliable evidence of payment (authorised payment order and bank statement).

As regards round tables / conferences / workshops , presenting “appropriate original supporting documents” requires presentation of a programme indicating the title, dates, venue, and agenda of the event; the names of persons facilitating the event, a signed list of participants, the contracts with the owner of venue of the event (e.g. hotel) for the rent of premises, food and beverages of participants, invoices from the owner of the venue of the event for the above services, and a report on the results of the event (see narrative reporting above).

As regards consultancy services, presenting “appropriate original supporting documents” requires presentation of evidence of the outputs produced, contracts with experts and consultants containing a specific description of services to be carried out, invoices produced after the works have been performed and delivered (the specialities of the consultants shall correspond to the nature of activities for which they are contracted).

As regards travel fees / lodging of experts and participants, presenting “appropriate original supporting documents” requires presentation, where relevant, of contracts with a travel agency for travel fees and lodging, invoices of the travel agency indicating destinations, dates, ticket costs, and names of the travelling persons, a programme of the event indicating the names of the experts and signed lists of participants.

The above description is not comprehensive. Any doubt regarding the interpretation of the notion of “appropriate original supporting documents” should lead the Grantee to consult the Council of Europe.

V.                 HOW TO APPLY?

1.      Documents to be submitted:

Each application shall contain:

·         the completed and signed Application Form (See Appendix I), please also provide a copy of this document in word;

·         a provisional budget (using the template reproduced in Appendix II), please also provide a copy of the budget in excel;

·         the other supporting documents:

o   CVs of the proposed coordinators and participants/mentors

o   document certifying the registration of the non-profit entity;

o   bank /financial statements authorized by a financial officer of the applicant;

o   contact details of referees;

Applications that are incomplete will not be considered.

2.      Questions

General information can be found on the website of the Council of Europe:

Other questions regarding this specific call for proposals must be sent at the latest one week before the deadline for the submission of proposals, in English, and shall be exclusively sent to the following address: [email protected] , with the following reference in subject: Questions – GRANTS Roma Political Schools 2021.

3.      Deadline for submission

The application form, completed and signed, together with the supporting documents, must be submitted in electronic form (preferably Word and PDF, please also provide the excel version of the estimated budget) to the following e-mail address: [email protected] . Emails should contain the following reference in subject: Call for proposals – GRANTS – Roma Political Schools 2021.

Applications must be received before 21 April 2021 (at 23:59 CET). Applications received after the above-mentioned date will not be considered.

4.      Change, alteration and modification of the application file

Any change in the format, or any alteration or modification of the original application file, will cause the immediate rejection of the application concerned.


The projects presented will be assessed by an Evaluation Committee composed of three Council of Europe staff members.

The procedure shall be based on the underlying principles of grant award procedures, which are transparency, non-retroactivity, non-cumulative awards, not-for-profit, co-financing and non-discrimination, in accordance with Rule 1374 of 16 December 2015 on the grant award procedures of the Council of Europe.

The applicants, and their projects, shall fulfil all of the following criteria:

1.      Exclusion criteria:

Applicants shall be excluded from the grant award procedure where they:

a. have been sentenced by final judgment on one or more of the following charges: participation in a criminal organisation, corruption, fraud, money laundering;

b. are in a situation of bankruptcy, liquidation, termination of activity, insolvency or arrangement with creditors or any like situation arising from a procedure of the same kind, or are subject to a procedure of the same kind;

c. have received a judgement with res judicata force, finding an offence that affects their professional integrity or constitutes a serious professional misconduct;

d. do not comply with their obligations as regards payment of social security contributions, taxes and dues, according to the statutory provisions of the country where they are established.

By signing the Application Form, applicants shall declare on their honour that they are not in any of the above-mentioned situations (See Appendix I, Item 12).

The Council of Europe reserves the right to ask applicants at a later stage to supply the following supporting documents:

-          for the items set out in paragraphs a), b) and c), an extract from the record of convictions or failing that an equivalent document issued by the competent judicial or administrative authority of the country where the applicant is established, indicating that these requirements are met;

-          for the items set out in paragraph d), a certificate issued by the competent authority of the country of establishment.

2.      Eligibility criteria:

In order to be eligible for a grant, an applicant must:

·         be legally constituted as a non-profit legal entity (organisation/association/foundation) in one of the countries of the call;

·         be entitled to carry out activities described in its project proposal;

·         have been active for at least 2 years in the field of Roma minority rights;

·         have sufficient financial capacity (stable and sufficient sources of funding) to maintain its activity throughout the period for which the grant is awarded and to participate by way of its own resources (including human resources or in-kind contributions);

·         have sufficient operational and professional capacity, including staff, to carry out activities described in  its project proposal;

·         have a bank account.

Multiple applications are not allowed and shall lead to the exclusion of all applications concerned.

3.      Award criteria

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

·         the relevance and added value of the project with regards to the objective of the call (50%)

·         the extent to which the action meets the requirements of the call (20%);

·         the quality, accuracy, clarity, completeness and cost-effectiveness of the application and the estimated budget (10%);

·         the relevance of the experience of the applying organisation(s) and staff (20%).


On completion of the selection process, all applicants will be notified in writing of the final decision concerning their respective applications as well as on the next steps to be undertaken.

The selected Grantees will be invited to sign a Grant Agreement (See Appendix III, for information only), formalising their legal commitments. Potential applicants are strongly advised to read the draft contract, in particular its requirements in terms of payment and reporting.



Indicative timing

Publication of the call

31 March 2021

Deadline for submitting applications

21 April 2021

Information to applicants on the results of the award procedure

28 April 2021

Signature of the grant agreements

30 April 2021

Implementation period

3 May 2021 - 15 November 2021

Reporting by

30 November 2021

* * *

[1] The term “Roma and Travellers” is used at the Council of Europe to encompass the wide diversity of the groups covered by the work of the Council of Europe in this field: on the one hand a) Roma, Sinti/Manush, Calé, Kaale, Romanichals, Boyash/Rudari; b) Balkan Egyptians (Egyptians and Ashkali); c) Eastern groups (Dom, Lom and Abdal); and, on the other hand, groups such as Travellers, Yenish, and the populations designated under the administrative term “Gens du voyage”, as well as persons who identify themselves as Gypsies. The present is an explanatory footnote, not a definition of Roma and/or Travellers.