How is the programme designed to deliver results?


The EU promotes peace and the well-being of its people. It is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. To live up to its vocation, the EU needs to remember and learn from its history and to involve people in strengthening democratic societies.

Yet emerging movements challenge the idea of open, inclusive, cohesive and democratic societies and threaten the enjoyment of rights and civic participation. In particular:

  • Inequalities and discrimination on the grounds of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation still exist. Violence is still a reality in the daily lives of many women, children and other persons at risk.
  • The rights stemming from EU citizenship—free movement, consular protection and electoral rights—are still not fully implemented, thus hindering citizens’ political and societal participation.
  • Economic crises, rising inequalities, and new or persisting challenges (e.g., migration) have led some to question the EU’s fundamental rights and values, including the rule of law, access to justice, space for civil society, and the independence of the judiciary.

These challenges are common to all Member States and have cross-border dimensions. While action at national level is important, individual Member States do not have sufficient leverage to tackle these challenges on their own. Therefore, concerted efforts at EU level are required.


CERV seeks to protect and promote rights and values as enshrined in the EU Treaties and in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in order to sustain open, rights-based, democratic, equal and inclusive societies based on the rule of law.


CERV specific objectives, which correspond to strands, are to:

  1. Contribute to protecting and promoting Union values by providing financial support to civil society organisations active at local, regional and transnational level (Union values strand);
  2. Promote rights, non-discrimination, equality, including gender equality, and advance gender and non-discrimination mainstreaming; protect and promote the rights of the child, the rights of people with disabilities, EU citizenship rights and the right to the protection of personal data (Equality, rights and gender equality strand);
  3. Promote citizens engagement and participation in the democratic life of the Union and exchanges between citizens of different Member States and raise awareness of the common European history (Citizens' engagement and participation strand).
  4. Fight violence, including gender-based violence and violence against children and other groups at risk (Daphne strand).


  • EUR 773.6 millionTotal financial programming 2021-2027
2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
98.9 214.9 91.8 92.1 92.2 92.2 91.5

In EUR million. Top-ups coming from NextGenerationEU are included.


CERV supports a broad range of organisations promoting and protecting Union values and rights, increasing awareness of rights, values, principles culture, history, laws and policies, enhancing capacity and fostering cross-border cooperation, and mutual knowledge, understanding, and trust.

CERV supports training, capacity building, exchanges of good practices between Member States’ authorities and bodies, and town-twinning. It supports the development of knowledge-based EU policies and legislation through surveys, studies, and analyses. It also supports the development of the capacity of key EU level networks (notably the annual work programme of EQUINET, the EU network of equality bodies).

Delivery mode

CERV will be implemented in direct management by the Commission under the lead of Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers (DG JUST). The implementation of some actions will be entrusted to an Executive Agency.

Performance framework: more information

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Where are we in the implementation?

You will find information on the programme implementation in this webpage.

It will be updated when the programme will have started on an annual basis alongside the publication of the draft budget and the discharge.

Next publication (estimation): June 2022.

Predecessor programmes 2014-2020

CERV is the result of merging two 2014-2020 MFF funding programmes, namely the Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme and the Europe for Citizens programme, which have both a strong societal focus and are clearly related to Union values. This goal is to bring more visibility, simplification, and mutual reinforcement, while acknowledging and maintaining the specificities of the single policies.

Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme

  • EUR 435.3 millionBudget allocation 2014-2020

Overall execution (2014-2020)

  Total %
Commitments EUR 432.5 million
Payments EUR 325.4 million

This graph includes implementation based on voted budget appropriations and carried-over appropriations.


Key monitoring indicators

  Baseline Progress Target Results Assessment
Member States that set up structural coordination mechanisms on the national Roma integration strategies  
26 27 compared to 26 Member States On track
Perception of consumers of being protected 64%
75% 81% compared to 75% ratio On track
% of target achieved by the end of 2020



Concrete examples of achievements

  • 31%of non-executive directors of boards of listed companies are women (in 2020, up from 16% in 2014).
  • 81%of Europeans consider themselves to be well or very well informed about the rights they enjoy as EU citizens (in 2020, up from 32% in 2014)
  • 27Member States set up structural coordination mechanisms with all stakeholders, including Roma, on the implementation of the national Roma integration strategies by 2020.
  • 96%of all people consider that domestic violence against women is unacceptable, in 2018, up from 84% in 2014 (Eurobarometer).
  • 131grants were awarded to prevent and combat racism, xenophobia, homophobia and other forms of intolerance in the period 2014-2020.

Programme Performance Overview

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Europe for Citizens

  • EUR 195.5 millionBudget allocation 2014-2020

Overall execution (2014-2020)

  Total %
Commitments EUR 195.3 million
Payments EUR 157.8 million

This graph includes implementation based on voted budget appropriations and carried-over appropriations.


Key monitoring indicators

  Baseline Progress Target Results Assessment
Participants directly involved in projects  
1.30 m 0.98 out of 1.30 million participants On track
People indirectly reached by the programme  
1.55 m 1.18 million people reached compared to a target of 1.55 million On track
First-time applicants to projects  
40% 60% first-time applicants compared to a target of 40% On track
Transnational partnerships including different types of stakeholders  
2 2 out of 2 partnerships On track
Geographical coverage of the activities – number of countries involved 15
28 28 out of 28 Member State partners or co-partners On track
% of target achieved by the end of 2020



Concrete examples of achievements

  • 28European citizens’ initiatives were registered between 2018 and 2020.
  • 976 331people were reached directly by the programme in 2020.
  • 1 180 000people were reached indirectly by the programme in 2020.
  • 419projects were selected in 2020.

Programme Performance Overview

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