The Nordic Council of Ministers launched a new funding programme for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the Baltic Sea Region. The purpose of the programme is to provide a boost to civic society and stimulate active co-operation in the region. The NGO Programme for the Baltic Sea Region is based on tripartite co-operation with at least one partner from the Nordic countries, one partner from the Baltic countries or Poland, and at least one partner from North-West Russia or Belarus. This programme reiterates the view that the Nordic governments hold of NGOs and the key role they play in promoting democracy. The Nordic Council of Ministers is entitled to take the initiative to launch new partnerships under the programme. An annual budget of approximately DKK 5 million (ca 0,67 million Euro) has been earmarked for the programme. Grants of up to DKK 500,000 (67,000 Euro) may be paid out. The deadline for applications is November 01, 2006. A new deadline will be announced in early 2007.