Other international bodies

For a searchable list of current funding opportunities see the GFMD website.

All description and entries are taken from the sites of the featured agencies or organisations. We endeavour to update the profiles every 6 months. For the most up-to-date information please visit the website of the relevant organisation.

Other international bodies

International organisations such as the OSCE and the World Bank are known to give small amounts of funding for needs assessments, training workshops and projects focusing on legal or regulatory frameworks.

These sometimes come as a result of direct approaches and sometimes through calls for proposals.

Council of Europe

The Council of Europe (CoE) is an international organisation founded in the wake of World War II to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. Founded in 1949, it has 46 member states, with a population of approximately 675 million; it operates with an annual budget of approximately 500 million euros.

The CoE advocates freedom of expression and of the media, freedom of assembly, equality, and the protection of minorities. It has launched campaigns on issues such as child protection, online hate speech, and the rights of the Roma, Europe's largest minority. The CoE helps member states fight corruption and terrorism and undertake necessary judicial reforms. Its group of constitutional experts, known as the Venice Commission, offers legal advice to countries throughout the world.

Themes: Human rights, democracy and rule of law

The right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media as protected by Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights are pillars of democratic security in Europe. The Council of Europe promotes an enabling environment for freedom of expression, underpinned by legal guarantees for independence and diversity of media and safety of journalists and other media actors.

The aim of the Council of Europe Cooperation Programme is to foster an enabling environment for freedom of expression in the Council of Europe Member States and more recently in the Southern Mediterranean Region, taking into account the challenges of a changing media environment. The CoE does this by providing human rights expertise and assistance to media and new-media actors, as well as guidance to governments and regulatory authorities in target countries.

Over the past decade, the CoE has implemented 20 projects in member states and partner countries promoting media freedom, including independence and efficiency of public service media.

Types of funding: Grants

Funding opportunities: The CoE does not post calls for proposals on its website. Follow the GFMD Funding Opportunities page for new calls for proposals from the organisation.

Amount of funding: N/A

European Commission

The European Commission (EC) is the executive branch of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU.

The Commission helps shape the EU's overall strategy, proposes new EU laws and policies, monitors their implementation and manages the EU budget. It also plays a significant role in supporting international development and delivering aid.

In its Media and Audiovisual Plan, the Commission decided to launch a 'news initiative', bundling existing and new actions and support to the news media sector. This initiative looks holistically at the challenges facing the news media industry and provides a coherent response, bringing together different policy and funding instruments under a common banner.

Themes: The European Commission funds areas such as culture and media, digital economy and society, humanitarian and civil protection, justice and fundamental rights, and research and innovation.

Geographical priorities: EU countries and the Eastern and Southern neighbourhoods


The Commission is organised into policy departments, known as Directorates-General (DGs), which are responsible for different policy areas. DGs develop, implement and manage EU policy, law, and funding programmes. In addition, service departments deal with particular administrative issues.

The Commission offers funding through several directorates, including:

Directorate-General for International Partnerships (INTPA)

The mission of INTPA is "to contribute to sustainable development, to eradicate poverty, and promote peace and the protection of human rights through international partnerships that uphold and promote European values and interests."

As part of the European Union’s external relations, the DG is at the forefront of the European Union’s efforts to implement global commitments, notably the United Nations 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

INTPA's main funding instrument, Global Europe, is committed to supporting countries in overcoming long-term developmental challenges and will contribute to achieving the international commitments and objectives that the Union has agreed to, in particular the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

You can apply for a grant from the European Commission in the field of External Actions by searching on the International Partnerships Calls for Proposals and Tenders website.

Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)

The mission of DG NEAR is to take forward the EU's neighbourhood and enlargement policies. DG NEAR works closely with the European External Action Service and the line DGs in charge of thematic priorities.

The countries covered by DG NEAR are Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia in the South; and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine in the East.

By implementing assistance actions in Europe's eastern and southern neighbourhood, DG NEAR aims to support reform and democratic consolidation, and strengthen the prosperity, stability and security around Europe.

The European Commission makes direct financial contributions in the form of grants in support of projects or organisations which further the interests of the EU or contribute to the implementation of an EU programme or policy. Interested parties can apply by responding to calls for proposals.

Calls for proposals are published on the International Partnerships Calls for Proposals and Tenders website.

Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (Connect)

Connect is the Commission department responsible to develop a digital single market to generate smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe. It invests in research, innovation, deployment and uptake of trustworthy and green digital technologies.

Programmes and Funding Instruments

The EU has a series of programmes and funds financed from the EU budget and NextGenerationEU, a temporary instrument designed to boost the financial recovery of the region. Some of these programmes are aimed at

Creative Europe

Creative Europe is a European Union programme for the cultural and creative sectors. It "invests in actions that reinforce cultural diversity and respond to the needs and challenges of the cultural and creative sectors."

The main objectives of the programme are to

  • safeguard, develop and promote European cultural and linguistic diversity and heritage

  • increase the competitiveness and economic potential of the cultural and creative sectors, in particular the audiovisual sector

The programme is divided into three strands, of which the third, the CROSS-SECTORAL, aims at reinforcing collaboration between different cultural and creative sectors, in order to help them address the common challenges they face and find innovative new solutions.

Creative Europe offers funding to the news media sector in order to promote media literacy, pluralism and media freedom, as well as activities to help the sector adjust to the structural and technological changes it faces.

In particular, in 2021, Creative Europe launched a call for proposals on journalism partnerships. The action aims to:

  • promote sector-wide, cross-border collaboration among news media professionals in Europe

  • stimulate sharing of best practices for collaborative business transformation

  • encourage journalistic collaboration by developing standards, new business models, training programmes, funding schemes and other activities that aim to uphold quality journalism.

The support targets the wider European news media sector, including small media.

Applications for all Creative Europe calls are processed through the European Commission's Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal (F&TP).

The Commission also offers funding through multiple funding instruments such as the:

European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR)

The EU merged several instruments and funding programmes with the objective of streamlining funding for its external diplomacy. For the period 2021-2017, the new Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation instrument, dubbed "Global Europe", replaces the EIDHR as well as other programmes, including the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), the European Development Fund (EDF), the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), and the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI).

The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) aimed at providing support for the promotion of democracy and human rights in non-EU countries.

The Instrument for Stability and Peace

The EU merged several instruments and funding programmes with the objective of streamlining funding for its external diplomacy. For the period 2021-2017, the new Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation instrument, dubbed "Global Europe", replaces the IcSP as well as other programmes, including the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), the European Development Fund (EDF), the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), and the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI).

The Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) was the EU's financial instrument to respond quickly and flexibly to conflicts and crisis. IcSP had provided funding for short and mid-term actions on conflict prevention, crisis response and peacebuilding around the world, and longer term-assistance to projects linked to global and trans-regional threats.

Types of funding: Programmatic and core grants

Smaller organisations often say that they find the volume of paperwork required for some EU bids unmanageable

Others are discouraged by the perception that these funding programmes are something of a lottery.

Very little coherent feedback is given for unsuccessful applications.

Funding opportunities: Find open and upcoming calls for funding proposals, get background information on funding processes and programmes, and apply online. Learn about the tendering process and opportunities for doing business with the European Commission.

You can find open and closed calls for proposals awarded by the European Commission on issues related to communication and audiovisual services here.


The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is an intergovernmental organization with 57 participating States, working to address security challenges in Europe. The organisation has a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses politico-military, economic and environmental, and human aspects. It addresses a wide range of security-related concerns, including arms control, confidence- and security-building measures, human rights, national minorities, democratization, policing strategies, counter-terrorism and economic and environmental activities.

It monitors media freedom, promotes democratic values, and conducts field operations dedicated to fostering stability, human rights, and cooperation among its member states.

Priorities related to media development and journalism:

The OSCE recognizes the pivotal role of free and independent media in democratic societies. The OSCE actively monitors and addresses violations of free expression, emphasizing media development through various initiatives.

Key Initiatives

  1. Monitoring and Accountability:

    • Observing media developments for violations of free expression.

    • Holding accountable those responsible for murders, attacks, and harassment of journalists.

    • Advocating for the prosecution of journalists and media members for professional activities.

    • Reviewing legislation affecting free expression and media regulation.

  2. Media Development:

    • Conducting training and providing support for editors and journalists.

    • Facilitating national reforms in broadcasting.

    • Offering technical expertise for transitions from analogue to digital broadcasting.

    • Advising media outlets on best practices.

  3. Role of the Representative on Freedom of the Media:

    • Operating as an independent OSCE Institution with a unique mandate.

    • Observing media developments for early warning purposes.

    • Assisting participating States in fulfilling commitments to freedom of expression and free media.

  4. Field Operations' Activities:

    • Monitoring the work of media regulators.

    • Assessing the improvement and implementation of media legislation.

    • Providing technical expertise to national authorities.

    • Fostering transparency, credibility, and independence of media.

    • Organizing training for various stakeholders.

    • Documenting cases of media rights violations.

    • Holding public discussions.

    • Supporting independent media outlets.

  5. Focus Areas:

    • Emphasizing safety of journalists.

    • Advocating for media self-regulation.

    • Promoting access to information.

    • Encouraging professional reporting on the internet.

    • Addressing freedom of expression and new media technologies.

Promoting Best Practices

The OSCE fosters the sharing of best practices across its region to strengthen freedom of the media in alignment with international standards and OSCE principles and commitments. By actively engaging in monitoring, development initiatives, and advocacy, the OSCE remains committed to safeguarding and advancing media freedom.

Geographical priorities: Most of the OSCE’s staff and resources are deployed in the OSCE’s field operations in South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. These operations have tailor-made mandates, which are agreed by consensus of the participating States.

Funding opportunities: Grants are to nonprofit civil society organizations in many of the countries where OSCE is active. Grant making is administered through OSCE’s country offices. Grant seekers should consult national newspapers and OSCE’s websites in these countries to find calls for proposals.

The process for applying for funding may vary depending on the specific program or project you are interested in. Generally, the OSCE provides funding for various projects related to security, stability, and cooperation among its member states.

Type of funding: Programmatic

World Bank

With 189 member countries, staff from more than 170 countries, and offices in over 130 locations, the World Bank Group is a global partnership: five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries.

Funding opportunities: The World Bank Group issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) inviting colleagues to apply for funding. Applicants should submit an application after they have considered the above requirements and assessed whether their proposal is suitable for support under the call.

Themes: Climate Change, Fragility, Conflict & Violence, Gender; Infrastructure, PPPs & Guarantees; and Knowledge Management.

The Bank's Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF) works directly with journalists in low-income countries to improve understanding of development issues and the importance of impact evaluation in identifying what works.

The World Bank has two systems which will run in parallel for an estimated seven years: the current environmental and social policies of the Bank are known as the "Safeguard Policies" and a new set of environment and social policies called the Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) that applies to all new World Bank investment project financing. Emphasis here is that project development outcomes are improved by taking environmental and social aspects into consideration.

Types of funding: Grants & loans

Amount of funding: N/A


For a searchable list of current funding opportunities see the GFMD website.

If an organisation or an opportunity is missing, get in touch!

Last updated