In recent years there has been a rise in discrimination and xenophobia in Western Europe with attitudes, behaviors and policies reinforcing one another. Xenophobic actors are taking advantage of the economic crisis and are using Muslims, immigrants, and Roma as scapegoats. The Open Society Fund to Counter Xenophobia takes the term xenophobia to refer to those attitudes, prejudices, behaviors and policies that reject, exclude, or deny equal treatment and often vilify persons, based on perceived racial or ethnic origin, or national or religious background.
The Fund to Counter Xenophobia, a grantmaking program of the Open Society Foundations, will tackle both the causes and manifestations of xenophobia in order to see acts and practices of discrimination reduced, to guarantee nondiscriminatory policies and to (re)gain a social and cultural consensus in which xenophobic views and practices are considered unacceptable.
The fund was launched at the end of 2011 and its strategy took into consideration the investment by private foundations and the European Union in order to cover the existing gaps. The fund will aim to reduce discriminatory and xenophobic attitudes, practices and policies across Western Europe.
Beyond an investment on transnational and pan-European issues and projects, particular attention will be devoted to a few countries (The Netherlands, France and Spain) and to certain regions or cities. Since 2010, the Open Society Foundatons have piloted activities in Italy where the specific areas of intervention are migrants’ rights, Roma and minority rights, and freedom of information. The activities eligible for funding are monitoring and research; advocacy, media relations and campaigning; legal support and litigation; civil society development.
Eligibility Criteria
The Open Society Fund to Counter Xenophobia will mainly contact potential grantees proactively, but it will also be open to consider unsolicited proposals. Eligible initiatives will aim to:
Strengthen NGOs working to reduce xenophobia and intolerance at national and pan-European levels.
Support the development of innovative grassroots NGOs.
Sustain networking collaboration and knowledge sharing among CSOs.
Test “opposition research” methodologies.
Support cultural innovative strategies.
Support policy analysis and pragmatic research.
Guidelines
More information and grantmaking guidelines are available for download HERE.