This post is also available in: Français (French)
In the context of the preparation of the next multiannual financial framework for the post-2020 period and the next generation of financial programs to be funded, AEDH stressed the importance of the programme ‘Europe for Citizens’, which seeks to encourage the democratic and civic participation of citizens at Union level, by developing citizens’ understanding of the Union’s decision-making process and by encouraging opportunities for societal and intercultural engagement and volunteering at the level of the Union. However, we regret that the program, the last to offer operating grants to civil society organisations, is under constant pressure and its financial envelope is not up to the needs. This jeopardizes the survival of many organizations and European networks and the sustainability of their actions. Rather than putting them in competition, these organisations should be invited to join forces to ensure a vibrant European civil society, including at the EU level.
Based on the recommendations of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, AEDH recommends the following measures to the European Commission so as to ensure a vibrant European civil society:
- Continue to financially and substantially support all activities of civil society organisations, such as service delivery, watchdog activities, advocacy, litigation, campaigns, human rights and civic education and awareness-raising.
- Increase the number and amount of funding available for multi-year funding and operating grants for civil society organisations.
- Establish a genuine European Fund for Democracy, Values and Human Rights within the EU as proposed by the EESC in its opinion on the financing of civil society organisations by Europe with an ambitious budget envelope, up to the challenge, and open it to civil society organisations across Europe. Special attention should be paid to maintain the funding of existing and future European networks so that the legitimate support for civil society organisations in the Member States does not occur at the expense of European organisations, which given their European positioning, have more limited funding opportunities.
Read AEDH contributions to the European Commission’s public consultations on EU funds in the field of migration and in the field of values and mobility (in French).