The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is a European Union programme that aims to promote democracy and human rights worldwide through support to civil society initiatives. The EIDHR was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in March 2014 for the period 2014-2020 by replacing and building upon the EIDHR (2006-2013) and European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (2000-2006).

Civil society plays an important role in ensuring principles of human dignity, freedom, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the right of persons belonging to minorities upheld in practice. By articulating citizen’s concerns, civil society organisations (CSOs) are understood as all non-state, not-for-profit structures in which people organise to pursue shared objectives and ideals, which are active in public arena and engage in initiatives which foster pluralism and further participatory democracy.

In Serbia, the EU assistance dedicated to this sector since 2000 amounted to €8,5 million.

The global objective of EIDHR is to promote and support democracy and human rights worldwide allowing for assistance that will contribute to the development and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law, and respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms. The programme is implemented within the framework of the Community’s policy on development cooperation, and economic, financial and technical cooperation with third countries, and consistent with the EU’s foreign policy as a whole .

Civil society actors in enlargement countries can make substantial contributions by projects which are linked to chapters 23 and 24: projects with emphasis on areas directly linked to key challenges in Negotiation Chapters 23 (Judiciary and Fundamental Rights) and 24 (Justice, Freedom and Security).

Furthermore, the involvement of civil society in the pre-accession process can contribute to deepening citizens’ understanding of the reforms a country needs to complete in order to qualify for EU membership.

The budget of EIDHR 2014-2015 programme is €2 million.

In the context of the pre-accession process, the focus of the EIDHR in Serbia for 2014-15 is on the role of the CSOs with an emphasis on areas linked to the Copenhagen political criteria.

For more information:

Delegation of the EU to the Republic of Serbia
Tel: +381 (0)11 30 83 200