HRDN Working Group on EU Internal Human Rights Policy issued the statement regarding the European Commission’s proposal for a Rights and Values Programme within the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027
The Working Group welcomes the Commission’s intention to ensure the continuation of existing programmes (“Rights, Equality and Citizenship” and “Europe for Citizens”), by merging them together. These programmes should be maintained as they have achieved positive results in important areas, such as equality and non-discrimination including gender equality and anti-racism, data protection, Union citizenship rights, citizens’ participation at the European Union (EU) level, and combating violence.
Unfortunately, the Commission falls short of answering the calls of civil society and the European Parliament (EP) for an additional European Values Instrument (see the EP resolution voted on 19 April), designed to increase support to independent CSOs at local and national level, to counter the backlash against fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law and the shrinking civic space within the EU. We call on the EU to develop new and effective ways to protect its values, and to support human rights organisations and defenders working internally at least as strongly as it does externally.