This afternoon, MEPs in the European Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favour of a new fund to support organisations fighting for rights and democracy in EU countries. This fund would be known as the European Values Instrument.
Liberties first proposed a fund to support organisations protecting civil liberties in 2016. Since then the idea has been endorsed by many other rights groups, the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency and now the European Parliament.
Read Liberties' proposal for a European Values Instrument.
Organisations promoting civil liberties are essential for democracy to work properly. They keep citizens informed about laws and policies affecting their rights and allow the public to communicate with their representatives between elections. Governments across the EU are making it harder for rights and democracy groups to protect our freedoms.
Click here to learn more about the restrictions being placed on rights groups in the EU.
In the most serious cases, like in Hungary, Italy, Poland and Romania politicians are waging smear campaigns, taking away or blocking funding and drowning campaigners in bureaucracy. The European Values Instrument would help human rights organisations continue fighting to protect our freedoms.
If the European Values Instrument is to be created, the Commission will have to put forward a formal proposal. But it is unclear whether the Commission will comply with the European Parliament's request. During a debate in the European Parliament, Vera Jourova, the EU's Justice Commissioner, said that the EU should help to keep rights groups strong and healthy by supporting them financially. But she did not expressly endorse the European Values Instrument.