European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is the successor programme to the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights. The specific aim of European Union assistance under the EIDHR, created by the European Parliament in 1994, has been to assist in meeting differentiated human rights and democracy objectives at international and national level.

In addition to its work in support of civil society, it has a distinguished record of support for international human rights instruments and mechanisms and the international criminal justice system, including the International Criminal Court (ICC) and other ad hoc international criminal tribunals. The available Union assistance has also made possible to develop the EU’s role as one of the leading actors in election observation.

Based on the new Financial Regulation, the EIDHR includes the possibility under certain circumstances to finance not only registered organizations, but also non-legal entities. It furthermore provides the possibility of „re-granting“ meaning that in order to enhance human rights in situation where they are most at risk, civil society organizations in charge of the project implementation can award small grants to other local organizations, non-legal entities or individual human rights defenders.

Assistance under the EIDHR may take the following forms:

  • projects and programmes,
  • grants to finance projects submitted by civil society and/or international/intergovernmental organizations
  • small grants to human rights defenders,
  • grants to support operating costs of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC)
  • human and material resources for EU election observation missions
  • public contracts

The selection of projects funded under the EIDHR takes place in several ways:

  • global calls for proposals: the projects cover all the objectives of EIDHR and are selected by the Commission in consultation with its local delegations.
  • country calls for proposals: they are specific to one country (Country Based Support Schemes – CBSS) and they cover local projects designed to reinforce the role of civil society in promoting human rights and democratic reforms, in facilitating the peaceful reconciliation of group interests and in consolidating political participation and representation and are managed by local EU delegations.
  • direct support to Human Rights Defenders through small grants: when quick intervention through small and targeted actions is needed, the European Commission manages a small facility to provide ad-hoc grants of up to 10.000 Euro to be awarded to human rights defenders in need of urgent support either by headquarters or by EU Delegations.

For the period 2014-2020 the EIDHR has a budget of €1.332 billion for all eligible countries, whereas annual allocation for Serbia is around €1 million.

For the period 2007-2013 the EIDHR had a budget of €1.104 billion for all eligible countries, whereas annual allocation for Serbia was around €1.2 million.

The Focal Points responsible for dealing with Democracy and Human Rights issues in Serbia including launching and selecting proposals through Calls open to local civil society organisations are:

Name Email
Operational contacts Ms Ana MILENIC
Political contact Ms Gordana ARACKIC


You will find more information on the EIDHR here.