European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR)

The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights is designed to help civil society to become an effective force for political reform and defence of human rights. Building on its key strength, which is the ability to operate without the need for host government consent, the EIDHR is able to focus on sensitive political issues and innovative approaches and to cooperate directly with local civil society organisations which need to preserve independence from public authorities, providing for great flexibility and increased capacity to respond to changing circumstances.

The EIDHR instrument can grant aid where no established development cooperation exists, and can intervene without the agreement of the governments of third countries. It can support groups or individuals within civil society defending democracy as well as intergovernmental organizations that implement the international mechanisms for the protection of human rights. Work with, for and through civil society organizations gives to the EIDHR its critical profile. Assistance under EIDHR complements other tools which are used to implement EU policies for democracy and human rights.

Assistance under the EIDHR may take the following forms:
• projects and programmes,
• grants to finance projects submitted by civil society and /or international  organizations
• small grants to human rights defenders,
• grants to support operating costs of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC)
• human and material resources for EU election observation missions

Based on the new Financial Regulation, the EIDHR provides the possibility of "re-granting" meaning that in order to enhance human rights in situation where they are most at risk, civil society organizations in charge of the project implementation can award small grants to other local organizations, non-legal entities or individual human rights defenders.

Call for proposals for micro projects are be published at:

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