Training & Coaching

CERV STRIVE 2024 - Awarded Projects

Liberties is happy to announce the member organisations and projects awarded re-grants under the CERV STRIVE 2024 project.

by Liberties.EU

Liberties' ongoing commitment to support the impact of its members at the national level is being advanced through the CERV STRIVE 2024 project. These re-grants are designed to strengthen the coordinating role of the executive office, enhance national impact, and deepen capacity-building and communication activities from regional to national levels.

Building upon Liberties' previous successes, STRIVE aims to:

  1. Provide expert contributions to the promotion and protection of Union values.
  2. Strengthen and expand the network's reach.
  3. Build the capacity of members to maximize the impact of their initiatives.
  4. Boost values-based information and dissemination for enhanced public engagement on rights and values.

The re-granted projects under CERV STRIVE 2024 are aligned with the following specific objectives:

  • Supporting national initiatives to enhance capacity-building for utilizing the Charter of Fundamental Rights at the national level.
  • Advancing research and enhancing the role of the Charter in fundamental rights litigation within member states.
  • Promoting strategic advocacy and campaigning based on the findings of annual rule of law reports, utilizing the Charter.

Expected results from these projects include:

  • Establishment of robust partnerships among national initiatives leveraging the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
  • Increased national research and strengthened positioning of the Charter in fundamental rights litigation.
  • Expanded advocacy efforts and campaigns utilizing the Charter to amplify the impact of rule of law findings.

These initiatives are essential in empowering civil society across Europe to effectively employ EU legal frameworks, safeguard fundamental rights and promote democratic governance in the face of evolving challenges.

List of awarded projects

Association for the Defense of Human Rights in Romania-the Helsinki Committee (APADOR-CH) (Romania)

Project: Using the Charter for Fundamental Rights and EU law to build civic space resilience in Romania

Total grant amount: €29,600

Duration: 9 months

The Romanian civic space has significantly reduced in recent years, with Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) being used to harass and intimidate journalists and dissolve civil society organisations. NGOs and citizens who initiate public interest court cases often face severe consequences, including dissolution or personal insolvency. This project aims to address these critical issues by creating tools based on the EU Charter and EU law for various stakeholders. APADOR-CH usually relies on the EU anti-discrimination directives and the ECHR in its strategic litigation. Furthermore, the APADOR-CH legal practitioner perceives that EU law is taught superficially, and there is no strong emphasis on it in university legal courses. By focusing on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the project seeks to integrate the Charter into national dialogue, thereby protecting civic space and building stronger bridges between environmental NGOs, civil rights watchdog organisations, journalists, citizens, state institutions, and NHRIs around EU law and values.

To achieve these goals, the project will:

  1. Conduct research on the application of the Charter in domestic case law in Romania and other Member States to support much-needed legislative changes and pending civil society public interest court cases.
  2. Build the capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) and legal stakeholders to use the Charter effectively, particularly in strategic litigation and anti-SLAPP advocacy.
  3. Enhance awareness and visibility of the Charter's use within the professional legal community in Romania.

The project is crucial as it seeks to empower CSOs, legal practitioners, and the Ministry of Justice to implement the 2020-2030 Charter Strategy, ensuring a more resilient and informed civic space in Romania.

Human Rights Monitoring Institute (HRMI) (Lithuania)

Project: Empowering Strategic Litigation for Fundamental Rights in Lithuania


Total grant amount: €18,000

Duration: 9 months

According to the 2020 Fundamental Rights Survey, only 42% of Lithuanians are aware of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. This lack of awareness, combined with shrinking civic space and restrictions on civil freedoms, highlights a critical need for increased legal literacy and strategic litigation capacity. Current gaps in practice and limited use of the Charter hinder the effective protection of fundamental rights. The project will perform focused research and legal analysis of strategic litigation practices in Lithuania, identifying gaps and enabling data-based capacity-building actions. By increasing the legal literacy and access to strategic litigation tools for civil society organisations, legal professionals, and minority groups, the project aims to enhance the scope and effectiveness of fundamental rights litigation in Lithuania. An advocacy campaign will further raise awareness about the Charter and its role in safeguarding personal and civic rights, addressing the shortcomings highlighted in the Rule of Law Report.

To address these challenges, the project will:

  1. Produce a practical analysis of the application of the Charter in the domestic case law in Lithuania and other Member States.
  2. Undertake capacity-building for strategic CSOs and legal stakeholders to expand the potential for using the Charter.
  3. Spread awareness about the Charter and its use among the professional legal community in Lithuania.

Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) (Hungary)

Project: No funding without respect for the Charter - Mainstreaming Charter rights in the planning and implementation of European Cohesion, Regional and other Funds in Hungary and beyond

Total grant amount: € 35,966

Duration: 9 months

Respect for fundamental rights is rarely considered a priority while planning and executing the European Cohesion, Regional, and other Funds programming, despite these programs significantly affecting the lives of EU citizens. The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU), participating in two monitoring committees overseeing the mentioned programming in Hungary, has gained valuable insights into mainstreaming Charter rights. In 2024, the EU reaches the midpoint of the 2021-2027 funding cycle, with planning for the next cycle underway. This project aims to address the gap in fundamental rights considerations by developing a comprehensive toolkit to assist civil society members in monitoring committees to enforce the Charter of Fundamental Rights. This project will also spread awareness and build capacity among legal stakeholders and civil society organisations in Hungary and other member states. The importance of this project lies in ensuring that EU funding decisions align with the fundamental rights outlined in the Charter, ultimately benefiting EU citizens by upholding the core values of the Union.

To address this gap, the project will:

  • Identify, explore, and appropriately use intervention points in the planning process for the next funding cycle to ensure that fundamental rights under the EU Charter are respected throughout the process.
  • Build further capacity within HCLU and partner organisations, as well as public administration, on the possibilities for mainstreaming fundamental rights in preparing and planning the next funding cycle.
  • Establish and deepen professional contacts with relevant actors in the preparation and planning process.
  • Mainstream Charter rights into the preparation and planning processes already underway and influence decision-makers to consider the requirements of the Charter.
  • Establish and disseminate the know-how of this method to civil society organisations in other EU Member States.

Stichting PILP (Public Interest Litigation Project) (Netherlands)

Project: Action to strengthen the right to protest

Total grant amount: €32,000

Duration: 9 months

The Action to strengthen the right to protest, led by Stichting PILP (Public Interest Litigation Project), addresses increasing challenges to the right to protest in the Netherlands. There has been a rise in disproportionate responses and restrictions by authorities towards peaceful demonstrations, exacerbated by a hardening political climate. This project aims to utilize the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union to protect and enhance the right to protest. Given the absence of a Constitutional Court in the Netherlands, international and European human rights laws, including the Charter, hold significant legal weight and can challenge unjust restrictions effectively. The project seeks to fill knowledge gaps by researching and disseminating insights on using the Charter to empower protesters and legal advocates. By enhancing awareness and strategic advocacy, PILP aims to strengthen protest rights and combat infringements on democratic freedoms in Dutch society.

To meet these objectives, the project will:

  • Research the positioning of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in relation to the right to protest in the Netherlands.
  • Disseminate findings to legal practitioners and human rights organisations to increase awareness and strategic use of the Charter.
  • Advocate through workshops, legal advice, and pre-litigation proceedings to support protesters and challenge unlawful restrictions.

Via Iuris (Slovakia)

Project: EU Advocacy for Democracy in Slovakia

Total grant amount: € 34,430

Duration: 9 months

Following the 2023 elections in Slovakia, rapid governmental changes have posed significant threats to the rule of law and environmental protections. VIA IURIS aims to address these challenges by enhancing legal advocacy and public engagement using EU law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. This project responds to government actions undermining democratic institutions and restricting civil society space, as well as limiting public participation in environmental decisions, all contrary to EU values and legislation. The political shifts have intensified the need for robust legal analysis and strategic litigation to counteract erosions in democratic governance and environmental safeguards. By focusing on EU legal frameworks, VIA IURIS seeks not only to protect fundamental rights but also to strengthen Slovakia's adherence to EU principles amidst ongoing political turmoil.

In light of these challenges, the project will:

  • Conduct legal analysis of EU case law and legislation to support strategic litigation and advocacy.
  • Provide capacity-building workshops for NGOs and legal professionals on using EU instruments for environmental advocacy.
  • Raise public awareness through media campaigns and engagement activities.
  • Engage with EU institutions to advocate for rule of law and democratic principles in Slovakia.

This project aims to empower Slovak civil society to effectively utilize EU legal frameworks, safeguarding public participation rights and promoting democratic governance amidst ongoing political challenges.

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