-Safeguarding democracy, freedom, the rule of law and fundamental rights in the EU
-Create separate budget line for civil society organisations in post-2020 budgets
MEPs call for a new European Values Instrument to support civil society organisations on Thursday.
Civil society organisations (CSOs) are facing difficulties in securing enough funds to develop and perform their activities independently and effectively, says the text.
MEPs call on the EU to set up a funding instrument - the European Values Instrument - to promote and protect EU values, especially democracy, freedom, the rule of law and fundamental rights, within the EU budget of the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The new instrument should fund civil society organisations which are active at local and national level in promoting and protecting these values.
The new instrument should be complementary to already existing European funds and should be financed with fresh money.
The text was approved by 489 votes to 137, with 14 abstentions.
The EU provides direct funding - the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights - to civil society organisations (CSOs) operating in non-EU countries to foster EU values. But funds for CSOs promoting EU values within the EU are currently very limited, particularly for CSOs operating at local and national level.