On the 3rd of September EUD attended public hearing on the Justice, Rights and Values (JRV) Fund at the European Economic Social Committee. The proposal for a regulation establishing the Justice, Rights and Values Fund was published by the European Commission in May 2018.
Justice, Rights and Values Fund includes two separate proposals, one establishing the “Justice programme” and another establishing the “Rights and Values programme”, both for the period 2021-2027. The JRV Fund combines several existing instruments: The Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme, the Europe for Citizens programme and the Justice programme.
Philippe Chantraine, European Commission, DG HOME, highlighted that the objective of the fund is to help sustain open, democratic and inclusive societies, as well as to empower people by promoting and protecting their rights and common values. JRV Fund is a key instrument for promotion of EU values, fundamental rights, democracy, and the rule of law, the participation and support of civil society, and the engagement of local communities.
Especially, the proposal for a Rights and Values programme is intended to support civil society, encourage people’s participation and foster the diversity of European society.
MEP Bodil Valero, the rapporteur of the proposal at the European Parliament, emphasised that this programme is more important than ever due to the value crisis that we currently have in the EU. Civil society faces difficulties while getting funding to fight against anti-democratic ideas, therefore, strong funding instrument that aims to support civil society that protects democracy, freedom, rule of law and fundamental freedoms is needed. This proposal has a big support at the European Parliament, which is a strong signal that the EU wants to support its citizens.
The rapporteur highlighted that the proposed budget to be very low in light of the current challenges in the EU and emphasised that more funding is needed for the support and capacity-building of civil society organisations that promote and monitor the implementation of EU values at local, regional, national and transnational levels.
EUD will continue following up upcoming developments regarding the new proposal for Justice, Rights and Values Fund to ensure it is capable to realise its objective to sustain democratic and inclusive societies, as well as to uphold citizens’ values and fundamental rights.