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Call: Union Values

Acronym CERV
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme"

The general objective of the Programme is to protect and promote rights and values as enshrined in the Treaties, the Charter and the applicable international human rights conventions, in particular by supporting civil society organisations and other stakeholders active at local, regional, national and transnational level, and by encouraging civic and democratic participation, in order to sustain and further develop open, rights-based, democratic, equal and inclusive societies which are based on the rule of law.

Furthermore, the Programme shall have the following specific objectives, which correspond to strands:

  1. to protect and promote Union values (Union values strand);
  2. to promote rights, non-discrimination and equality, including gender equality, and to advance gender mainstreaming and the mainstreaming of non-discrimination (equality, rights and gender equality strand);
  3. to 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 their common European history (citizens’ engagement and participation strand);
  4. to fight violence, including gender-based violence (Daphne strand).

Union values strand

The Union values strand shall focus on protecting, promoting and raising awareness of rights by providing financial support to civil society organisations which are active at local, regional, national and transnational level in promoting and cultivating those rights, thereby also strengthening the protection and promotion of Union values and respect for the rule of law and contributing to the construction of a more democratic Union, democratic dialogue, transparency and good governance.

Equality, rights and gender equality strand

The equality, rights and gender equality strand shall focus on:

  1. promoting equality and preventing and combating inequalities and discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, and respecting the principle of non-discrimination on the grounds provided for in Article 21 of the Charter;
  2. supporting, advancing and implementing comprehensive policies aimed at:
    1. promoting women’s full enjoyment of rights; gender equality, including work-life balance; women’s empowerment; and gender mainstreaming;
    2. promoting non-discrimination and the mainstreaming thereof;
    3. combating racism, xenophobia and all forms of intolerance, including homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, interphobia and intolerance on the basis of gender identity, both online and offline;
    4. protecting and promoting the rights of the child;
    5. protecting and promoting the rights of persons with disabilities;
  3. protecting and promoting Union citizenship rights and the right to the protection of personal data.

Citizens’ engagement and participation strand

The citizens’ engagement and participation strand shall focus on:

  1. supporting projects aimed at remembering defining moments in modern European history, such as the coming to power of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, including the causes and consequences thereof, and projects aimed at raising awareness among European citizens of their common history, culture, cultural heritage and values, thereby enhancing their understanding of the Union, of its origins, purpose, diversity and achievements and of the importance of mutual understanding and tolerance;
  2. promoting citizens’ and representative associations’ participation in and contribution to the democratic and civic life of the Union by enabling them to make known and publicly exchange their views in all areas of Union action;
  3. promoting exchanges between citizens of different countries, in particular through town-twinning and networks of towns, so as to afford them practical experience of the richness and diversity of the common heritage of the Union and to make them aware that such richness and diversity constitute a solid foundation for a common future.

Daphne strand

The Daphne strand shall focus on:

  1. preventing and combating at all levels all forms of gender-based violence against women and girls and domestic violence, including by promoting the standards laid down in the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention);
  2. preventing and combating all forms of violence against children, young people and other groups at risk, such as LGBTIQ persons and persons with disabilities;
  3. supporting and protecting all direct and indirect victims of the forms of violence referred to in points (1) and (2), such as the victims of domestic violence perpetrated within the family or within intimate relationships, including children orphaned as a result of domestic crimes, and supporting and ensuring the same level of protection throughout the Union for victims of gender-based violence.
Link Link to Programme
Union Values
Description of call
"Union Values"


The overall aim of this call for proposals is to protect, promote and raise awareness of EU fundamental rights and values by supporting local, regional and/or national civil society organisations and increasing their capacity thereby also strengthening the effective application of the Charter and the respect of the rule of law and of democracy in the EU.

The purpose of this call for proposals is to select and support a limited number of intermediaries in the greatest number of Member States, capable of building the capacities of a large number of civil society organisations (CSOs) active at local, regional and/or national level in the fields covered by the CERV programme, including through providing them with financial support.

Reach out to grassroot small, remote and rural based CSOs: intermediaries should give priority to grass-root small, remote and rural based organisations which tend to have more limited capacity and funding sources.

A civil society organisation (CSO) is to be understood as an organisational structure whose members serve the general interest through a democratic process, and which plays the role of mediator between state authorities and citizens. The EU considers CSOs to include all non-State, not-for-profit structures, who are non-partisan and non–violent, that promote and protect the fundamental rights and values on which the EU is founded.


The priorities of this call are:

  • to raise awareness on rights and values through support to civil society organisations;
  • to strengthen the protection and promotion of Union values including the respect of the rule of law;
  • to contribute to democratic values including by supporting dialogue, transparency and good governance, including in cases of shrinking space for civil society.

Applications must foresee the provision of financial support to civil society organisations active at local, regional and national level and which promote and protect fundamental rights and EU’s values, and carry out activities in the fields covered by the CERV programme.

EU funding should contribute to support, empower and build the capacity of independent civil society organisations active in the promotion and protection of EU values and fundamental rights, whose activities help the strategic enforcement of rights under EU law and the Charter.

Proposals should be based on and include a thorough assessment of the CSOs landscape (in the country(ies) covered), the challenges they face and their needs.

Activities funded must comply with and promote the principles of the rule of law, fundamental rights and democracy. Proposals must include both categories of activities:

  • Financial support to third parties (CSOs) by intermediaries
  • Capacity building for CSOs

Other relevant and innovative activities may be considered.

Expected Impact:

  • strengthened capacity of CSOs that aim to protect and promote EU rights and values;
  • a more supportive environment for CSOs;
  • more effective, accountable and sustainable CSOs;
  • a better developed advocacy and watchdog role for CSOs;
  • increased public participation in civic activities;
  • increased involvement of CSOs in policy and decision-making processes with local, regional, and national governments;
  • increased public awareness of EU rights and values;
  • empowerment of vulnerable groups;
  • strengthened regional cooperation within Civil Society.
Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Justice, Safety & Security, Equal Rights, Human Rights, People with Disabilities, Social Inclusion, Community Integration, European Citizenship, Shared Services, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Children & Youth, Education & Training, Demographic Change, Migration, Art & Culture, Cultural Heritage, History, Media, Administration & Governance
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Eligible applicants Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, NGO / NPO, Association, Other
Applicant details In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:
  • be legal entities (public or private bodies)
  • be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.: EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
  • Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of self-employed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legal personality separate from that of the natural person).
  • International organisations are not eligible.
  • EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.
Project Partner Details In order to be eligible,
  • the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:
    • be non-profit-making;
    • be independent from government, public authorities, political, religious or commercial interests; and
    • be a civil society organisation;
  • the applicant or at least one partner, if any, must fulfil all of the following:
    • have recent proven experience of at least 3 years in implementing CSO capacity building activities;
    • have recent proven experience in awarding and managing grants to CSOs.
Project duration max 36 months
Further info Proposals must be complete and contain all the requested information and all required annexes and supporting documents:
  • Application Form Part A — contains administrative information about the participants  and the summarised budget for the project (to be filled in directly online)
  • Application Form Part B — contains the technical description of the project (to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded)
  • Part C (to be filled in directly online) containing additional project data including mandatory indicators
  • mandatory annexes and supporting documents (to be uploaded):
    • CVs (standard) of core project team
    • activity reports of last year
    • list of previous projects (key projects for the last 4 years)
    • for participants with activities involving children: their child protection policy covering the four areas described in the Keeping Children Safe Child Safeguarding Standards
Proposals are limited to maximum 70 pages (Part B).
Type of Funding Grants
Financial details The available call budget is EUR 51,000,000.

The grant will be a budget-based mixed actual cost grant with unit cost and flat-rate elements. The costs will be reimbursed at the funding rate fixed in the Grant Agreement (90%).

Project budget (maximum grant amount): are expected to range between EUR 2 500 000 and EUR 4 000 000 per project.
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal. Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Contact Details

Technical Secretariat

For the  strands "Union Values" and "Citizens’ engagement and participation": Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).

For the strands "Equality, rights and gender equality" and "Daphne": Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers of the European Commission.
Email: EC-CERV-CALLS@ec.europa

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