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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
News article1 July 2015Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

European Commission renews support to the European Endowment for Democracy

The European Commission adopted today a decision to allocate €12 million to the European Endowment for Democracy. The allocation will finance the core functioning of the foundation for the period end 2015 to 2018.

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The European Commission adopted today a decision to allocate €12 million to the European Endowment for Democracy. The allocation will finance the core functioning of the foundation for the period end 2015 to 2018.

The European Endowment for Democracy (EED), established as an innovative mechanism to deliver support, provides grants to organisations and activists working to promote democracy and human rights and who do not have access to other funding mechanisms.

A thriving civil society empowers citizens to express their concerns, contributes to policy-making and holds authorities to account. It can also help ensure that economic growth becomes more inclusive. Key to making any of this happen is the guarantee of the freedoms of expression, association and assembly.

Another challenge is to facilitate the development of democratic political movements that represent the broad spectrum of the views and approaches in society so that they can compete for power and popular support. This challenge of fostering civil society and pluralism is felt throughout the Neighbourhood but is particularly acute for countries engaged in fast political change or where repressive political regimes continue to stifle pluralism and diversity.

Background:

The EED was established at the end of 2012 with the support of the European Parliament, the European Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission and the EU Member States.

The EED aims to help actors of change and emerging players who face obstacles in access to traditional funding. It offers a rapid and flexible funding mechanism for beneficiaries who are unsupported or insufficiently so, in particular for legal or administrative reasons. Such actors may include: journalists, bloggers, non-registered NGOs, political movements (including those in exile or from the diaspora), in particular when all of these actors operate in a very uncertain political context.

The core activities of the EED, which are the financial support to targeted beneficiaries, are funded by voluntary contributions from Member States or other stakeholders, such as private foundations.

The €12 million allocated will also finance conferences, seminars, publications, networking events, training courses and other activities organised by the EED.

The geographical focus of the EED was initially the European Neighbourhood region. In December 2014, its geographic mandate was broadened, and the EED can now act outside of the Neighbourhood region.