Strengthening civil society to influence the public and policy discourse on AI in Europe

Over the next five years the European Commission has ambitions to forge a plan for Europe’s digital transformation, including AI. But without a strong civil society taking part in the debate, Europe—and the world—risk missing opportunities to better society and instead, might choose a path paved with societal harm. The European Artificial Intelligence (AI) Fund aims to strengthen civil society’s capacity to contribute to these tech policy discussions. 

The current call for proposals aims to strengthen, support and build the ability of civil society organisations in Europe to effectively shape and influence public and policy debates in Europe around Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automated Decision Making (ADM).


The European AI Fund welcomes applications from civil society organisations registered in the EU, EEA, the UK, and Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia. Applications can come from two kinds of organisations:

  • Those that have previously worked on AI/ADM and want to build their capacity in advocacy and policy.  
  • Organisations who already have strong track record in policy and advocacy, whose work is affected by AI/ADM, and who want to build capacity in this domain. Some examples for organisations that would fall under this definition include, but are by no means limited to: 
    • Organisations that focus on worker’s rights and want to build their capacity to respond to new challenges raised by the gig economy.
    • Health and patient rights organisations who want to build their capacity to join conversations about AI in healthcare.
    • Organisations that represent marginalised communities or specialise on anti-discrimination and want to build their expertise in algorithmic forms of discrimination and exclusion.


Grant amounts may vary depending on the size and scope of the plans proposed as well as the applicant organisation’s annual budget. To maximise the number of recipients, grants will range from 20,000€ to 150,000€. Grants will be awarded for the duration of up to eighteen months. 


  • 22 September 2020 – Call for funding opens
  • 1 November 2020 – Call for funding closes
  • 1 December 2020 – Invitation to submit detailed proposal opens
  • January 2021 – Deadline to submit detailed proposal
  • February 2021 – Fund announces first round of grantees for open funding + workshop with grantees

For further details and application information see:

The fund is supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, King Baudouin Foundation, Luminate, Mozilla, Oak Foundation, Open Society Foundations and Stiftung Mercator.