În pregătirea viitorului buget multianual al UE, Comisia Europeană organizează o consultare publică cu privire la viitoarele programe de finanțare comunitare, post 2020. FDSC caută adeziuni pentru susținerea unui nou program de finanțare pentru ONGuri. 

 

Consultarea este în desfăsurare până pe 8 martie 2018 și orice cetățean sau organizație își poate exprima părerea asupra felului în care ar trebui îmbunătățite actualele programe de finanțare. În formularul online disponibil aici puteți sugera de asemenea orice noi idei pentru ca UE să își poată finanța mai bine politicile, precum și apărarea valorilor europene. 

 

Fundația pentru Dezvoltarea Societății Civile va participa la consultare, prin solicitarea unui nou program de finanțare, Instrumentul Valorilor Europene. Programul este descris mai jos într-o propunere de politică formulată de Fundația Stefan Batory din Polonia și bazată pe expertiza Civil Liberties Union for Europe (Liberties.eu). Dacă și organizația dvs. dorește să își exprime susținerea pentru această propunere de politică, vă rugăm să ne anunțați aici, până cel târziu joi, 8 martie, ora 12.00, și vom transmite adeziunea dvs. în opinia pe care Fundația pentru Dezvoltarea Societății Civile o va depune în cadrul consultării. 

 

Pe scurt, Instrumentul Valorilor Europene are ca scop întărirea, la nivel național, a sprijinului pentru democrație, stat de drept și drepturi fundamentale. Programul ar trebui să asigure distribuția fondurilor independent de autoritățile publice naționale și să fie accesibil organizațiilor de tip grass-root și organizațiilor de la nivel național, mai degrabă decât ONGurilor internaționale. Suma solicitată pentru o bună funcționare a acestui instrument este de 2 miliarde EUR pentru viitorul ciclu financiar de șapte ani. Mai multe detalii se regăsesc în textul de mai jos.  

 

 

 

 

European Values Instrument (EVI)

Policy Proposal

 

 

1. Goal

 

Public support for rule of law, democracy and human rights is the backbone of the European project. Only when these European values, defined in Article 2 of the EU Treaty, are firmly embedded in the identity of citizens can the Union deliver on policies and live up to normative foundations. Value promotion is therefore in the Union’s self-interest.

 

The goal of the European Values Instrument is to build broad support for democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in a domestic context. To this end, the instrument will invest in value-promoting activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in all EU member states. It is designed as a bottom-up measure offering citizens the tools to engage in promoting European values.

 

It is worth noting that the European Union funds value-promoting instruments targeting third countries, but instruments of similar scale and scope for member states do not exist. Existing programmes[1] focus on a narrow scope of topics, allow a limited range of activities and prioritize multinational projects. This leads to the situation that it is currently easier to obtain EU funding for value-promoting projects in a third country than in a member state. 

 

2. Areas of support

 

The European Values Instrument will focus on thematic areas in line with Article 2 TEU, Charter of Fundamental Rights and priorities of the Active Citizens Fund of EEA/Norway Grants. Thus, it could support NGOs promoting:

Rule of law and democracy, including transparency, good governance and civic participation

Human rights and equal treatment regardless of race, nationality, ethnic origin, belief,  gender and sexual orientation 

Fact checking, access to credible information and counteracting information manipulations

 

Activities implemented in these priority areas could include: advocacy, research and analysis to inform public policies, awareness-raising, civic and human rights education, watchdog and monitoring, strategic litigation, independent and investigative journalism, online and offline civic mobilization, promotion of dialogue across divisions, countering extremism and hate speech.

 

The instrument should allow for support of capacity building of NGOs, i.e. improving their transparency and governance as well as fostering fundraising, advocacy and public communication skills.

 

3. Design

 

The budget of EVI should be close to amounts allocated in the current financial perspective (2014-2020) to the promotion of European values in third countries. This includes the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (€1.3 Billion) and various pre-accession programmes (e.g.the Civil Society Facility and Media Programme for multi-country support plus allocations for individual candidate countries) estimated at €400-500 Million. On this basis the budget could encompass approximately €2 Billion for the seven-year budgetary period for  27 member states

 

The governance structure should ensure that funds are distributed independently of national governments and that the grant-making mechanism allows easy access for local and grass-roots organizations. To this end, EVI could draw on solutions similar to those of the NGO Programme of EEA/Norway Grants:

 

The budget should be controlled and distributed by the European Commission directly or a separate agency and not through the member states

Grants should be awarded by fund operators selected by the Commission on a competitive basis. These are NGOs or foundations independent from government, political parties or religious organizations with experience in working with the civil society sector

There are two possible options for the selection of the independent operators: (1) on the basis of geography – one operator per one country or per several countries (a region) or  (2) on the basis of thematic areas/grant-making schemes of the programme

 

Grant-making procedure should foresee both bigger (up to €500.000) and small grants (€50.000). Most of the budget should be dedicated to projects implemented by NGOs  in individual member states. In addition, EVI should support partnership projects implemented by NGOs from several member states, particularly to strengthen knowledge transfer. To foster the sustainability of NGOs, EVI should allow for covering operational costs and favour long-term projects of a minimum of three years.

 

Much effort should be put into making EVI accessible for small and medium-sized NGOs. This could be done by avoiding minimum turnover rates as well as pre-financing and monetary co-funding requirement. Moreover, the administrative burden on grantees could be lowered significantly if fund operators (instead of grantees) were made responsible for dealing with EU’s elaborate financial reporting obligations.

 

4. Implementation

 

The legal basis of EVI could be Art. 352 TFEU which was used for creating a partially similar instrument, the Europe for Citizens Programme. This Article requires unanimity. To maximize political feasibility, successful conclusion of legislation establishing the EVI could be linked to negotiations on European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs) in the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework which constituted approx. €450 Billion in the previous MFF. 

 

 

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For reference see:

 

Israel Butler, „Two proposals to promote and protect European values through the Multiannual Financial Framework: Conditionality of EU funds and a financial instrument to  support NGOs“, March 2018, Civil Liberties Union for Europe, https://liberties.eu

Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz „A normative empire in crisis – time for a politics of values“