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The new 1,55 billion CERV programme is coming: learn more and get ready to apply

CERV stands for “Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values” and will be the biggest-ever EU fund for promoting and protecting fundamental rights inside the EU. During negotiations, this programme has received a major top-up and was more than doubled (from the original 640 million euro to over 1,55 billion euro for the next 7-years period).

date:  02/03/2021


Its main objective is to protect and promote the rights and values as enshrined in the Treaties, the Charter and in the applicable international human rights conventions. This will be achieved by supporting civil society organisations and other stakeholders active at local, regional, national and transnational level. The programme will replace the previous Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme and the Europe for Citizens programme.

The CERV programme will be based on 4 strands:

  1. Equality, Rights and Gender Equality - promote rights, non-discrimination, equality, including gender equality, and advance gender and non-discrimination mainstreaming;
  2. Citizens’ engagement and participation - promote citizens engagement and participation in the democratic life of the Union and exchanges between citizens of different Member States and to raise awareness of the common European history;
  3. Daphne - fight violence, including gender-based violence;
  4. Union values - protect and promote Union values. The Union values strand is one of the big innovations of the programme. It puts at its centre values which are common to all Member States and on which the European Union is founded:  respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. At a time where European societies are confronted with extremism, radicalism and divisions and a shrinking space for independent civil society, this strand will place civil society organisations at the heart of its priorities by funding projects which promote and raise awareness on EU values and EU fundamental rights and by providing financial support to local, regional and transnational civil society organisations.

What are some of CERV main innovations?

  • Programme contact points: All Member States will establish  a national contact point for the CERV programme which will provide impartial guidance, practical information and assistance to applicants, stakeholders and beneficiaries of the programme;
  • Civil dialogue group: The Commission will establish a Civil Dialogue Group as an open and informal forum for discussion and to exchange experiences and good practices;

When will the new calls for proposal for action and operating grants open?

We are in the last stages of preparing the Work Programme and we plan to publish the calls early spring.

Do you want to know more about the new CERV programme?

In the next newsletter, we will inform you about the new calls and other interesting news.

Contacts: EC-CERV-CALLS@ec.europa.eu