European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR)
The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is in place from 1 January 2007 onwards. The overall objective of the instrument is to contribute to the development and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law, and of respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
In particular, this means to:
- enhance the respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms and to promote and consolidate democracy and democratic reform in third countries, mainly through support for civil society organisations, providing support and solidarity to human rights defenders and victims of repression and abuse, and strengthening civil society active in the field of human rights and democracy promotion;
- support and strengthen the international and regional framework for the protection, promotion and monitoring of human rights, the promotion of democracy and the rule of law, and reinforcing an active role for civil society within these frameworks;
- build confidence in and enhancing the reliability of electoral processes, in particular through election observation missions, and through support for local civil society organizations involved in these processes.
The overall EIDHR budget for the period of 2007 to 2013 is € 1,104 billion.
The exact amounts of each grant and tender are announced in the Guidelines for each call for proposal, which can be found on the following link: ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/funding/index_en.htm
To get an indication of a grant size before a call for proposal is published; please refer to the “Annual Work Programmes”: ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/ap/index_en.htm
The percentage of own contribution or co-funding necessary, is specified in the Guidelines of each call. The status of your organisation will also effect how much of your own contribution you will be expected to provide.
The EIDHR supports actions in the following areas:
Participatory & representative democracy (including parliamentary democracy, the processes of democratization) mainly through civil society organisations, inter alia in:
- freedom of association/ of opinion, independent media, access to information,
rule of law, promoting access to justice;strengthening the International Criminal Courteffective and transparent democratic accountability and oversight, measures against corruption;political pluralism and democratic political representation, encouraging political participation by citizens, in particular marginalised groups;
equal participation of men and women in social, economic and political life, and supporting equality of opportunity, and the participation and political representation of women;
measures to facilitate the peaceful conciliation of group interests
Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms concerning civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, mainly through civil society organisations
death penalty, torture and the rehabilitation of victims of torture;support for human rights defendersfight against racism, discrimination based on sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, age or sexual orientation, etcrights of indigenous peoples, minorities and ethnic groups;rights of women, measures to combat female genital mutilation, forced marriages, crimes of honour, trafficking, and any other form of violence against women;rights of the child, fight against child labour, child trafficking and child prostitution, and the recruitment and use of child soldiers;rights of persons with disabilities;promotion of core labour standardseducation in the area of human rights and democracysupport for civil society organisations focusing on human rights
Strengthening the international framework for the protection of human rights, justice, the rule of law and the promotion of democracy
support for instruments concerning human rights, justice, the rule of law and democracy;fostering cooperation of civil society with internationalorganisations, and supporting civil society activities aimed at monitoring the implementation of instruments concerning human rightspromoting observance of international humanitarian law
Building confidence in and enhancing the reliability and transparency of democratic electoral processes
deployment of European Union Election Observation Missions;by contributing to developing electoral observation capacity of civil society organisations at regional and local level, and supporting their initiatives to enhance participation in, and the follow-up to, the electoral process
Funds are allocated following strategy papers, which specify the priority areas selected for financing, objectives, the expected results, performance evaluation as well as indicative financial allocation. Further, the European Commission prepares annual action programmes the objectives, the fields of intervention, the expected results, the management procedures and the total amount of financing planned. They contain a description of the operations to be financed, an indication of the amounts allocated for each operation and an indicative implementation timetable. In the future, these documents will be available here.
The following actors are eligible for co-funding under this instrument:
- civil society organisations, including non-governmental non-profit organisations and independent political foundations, community based organisations, and private sector non-profit agencies, institutions and organisations, and networks thereof at local, national, regional and international level;
- public sector non-profit agencies, institutions and organizations and networks at local, national, regional, and international level;
- national, regional and international parliamentary bodies, when this is necessary to achieve the objectives of this instrument and unless the proposed measure can be financed under a related Community external assistance instrument;
- international and regional inter-governmental organisations;
- natural persons if this is necessary to achieve the objectives of the EIDHR Regulation.
Applicants can be nationals of or legal persons, who are established
- in a Member State of the Community, in an accession or official candidate country or in a Member State of the European Economic Area.
Or in a developing country, as specified by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD/DAC)
There are two main documents which regulate the practical implementation of the EIDHR:
- “Practical Guide to Contract Procedures for EC External Actions” (PRAG). The updated PRAG version, after the adoption of the Lisbon treaty, is available here. The purpose of the PRAG is to provide users with all the information necessary to undertake procurement or a grant procedure from the very first steps to the award of contracts. The annexes cover both the procurement phase and the execution of contracts.
- “Rules and Procedures”. This document explains the basic principles the implementation of an action. It is available here.
The duration of an action is defined in the guidelines for the individual call. However, almost all actions have implementation periods exceeding 12 months.
The deadline for submission will be defined in the guidelines for the specific call for proposal.
To get an indicative deadline, it is advisable to look at the “Annual work plan” available on this link: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/ap/index_en.htm or the “call for proposal forecasts” available on this link: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/funding/index_en.htm
The annexes of the Practical Guide to Contract Procedures for EC External Actions” (PRAG) (see below) include standard forms used in calls for proposals. For each call for proposal, they are provided together with the guidelines setting out the objectives of the call.
Application and Procedures
Application Forms are available online, see website below, and are published at the same time as the call for proposal and the guidelines.
Each time a call for proposal is published, guidelines for that particular call is also published.
If the call for proposals is a “Restricted call”, applicants will be asked to submit a Concept Note. Thereafter, applicants whose Concept Notes have been pre-selected will be invited to submit a Full Application Form. However, if the call for proposal is an “Open Call”, all applicants are invited to send in their Concept Notes and Full Proposals at the same time.
In order to succeed in accessing EU funds, a good understanding of the rules and procedures of the calls are crucial. Small administrative mistakes, such as submission after the deadline or missing documents lead to immediate rejection. NGOs considering responding to a call should carefully read the guidelines. Project objectives should directly be linked to the objectives of the call. Applicants should also read the relevant policy papers and refer to them, when appropriate. Manuals on how to manage an EC project can also be found on the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/multimedia/publications/index_en.htm
NGOs with little experience in applying for EU funding should consider participating in other NGO’s projects funded by the EU. As a junior partner they can build their capacity and get acquainted to EC requirements without taking full responsibility of a project. Consult and liaise with both the EU Delegation in the beneficiary country and the Brussels-based officials. Another information source is CONCORD Europe, the European confederation of relief and development NGOs. You might also get support from your national NGO platform.1
For information on the Strategy Paper, the Europe Aid Co-operation Office of the European Commission is in charge.
For information on a specific call for proposal you are advised to contact your EU delegation.
1 Contact information can be found in the NGO Platform Contact Information section of this Guide.