The Office of the European Union Representative
(West Bank and Gaza Strip, UNRWA)

European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR): 2018 Global Call for Proposals

20/11/2018 - 15:32

The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is a European Union programme that aims to promote democracy and human rights worldwide through support to civil society initiatives. The EIDHR was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in March 2014 (Regulation No. 235/2014) for the period 2014-2020 by replacing and building upon the EIDHR (2007-2013) and the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (2000-2006).

This instrument is designed to support civil society to become an effective force for political reform and defence of human rights. In doing this, it complements the geographical programmes, which focus on public institution-building. The EIDHR offers independence of action, which is a critical feature of cooperation with civil society organisations at national level, especially in the sensitive areas of democracy and human rights. It offers a great flexibility and an increased capacity to respond to changing circumstances or to support innovation. The EIDHR has considerable independence of action since it does not need the consent of the governments of the countries concerned for the financing of activities.

The EIDHR is global in scope. It operates at national, regional and international levels and supports actions carried out in third countries outside the European Union, throughout the world. The EIDHR regulation defines five main objectives:

  1. Support to Human Rights and Human Rights Defenders in situations where they are most at risk;
  2. Support to other EU Human Rights Priorities with main focus on protecting human dignity including abolition of the death penalty, eradication of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, support to a comprehensive approach to rehabilitation and prevention activities, protection and promotion of children's rights, protection of women's rights, fighting discrimination in all its forms, fighting against impunity, promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief, promotion of economic, social and cultural rights, promotion of the respect for international humanitarian law;
  3. Support to Democracy;
  4. Support to EU Election Observation Missions;
  5. Support to targeted key actors and processes, including international and regional human rights instruments and mechanisms.

For the period 2018-2020, the EIDHR Multi Indicative Programme and Multi-Annual Action Plan describes the evolving global context and the shrinking civic, democratic and civil society space, it was decided to keep the 5 objectives as mentioned above. This particular call for proposals will mainly work on the objectives 1 (10mio EUR), 3 (7mio EUR) and 2 (5mio EUR). 

The global objective of this call for proposals is to support civil society in protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms worldwide.

This call for proposals is fully in line with the European Consensus on Development[1], the EU's response to the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The recently adopted European Consensus sets out in an integrated manner the main principles which will guide the approach of the EU and the Member States to cooperation with developing countries over the next 15 years, as well as a strategy for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Consensus reiterates the EU and its Members states commitment to the principles of EU external action, set out in Article 21(1) of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU): democracy, the rule of law, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity, the principles of equality and solidarity, and respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.

This call is equally aligned with the EU's priorities as identified in policies and regulations, notably the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2015-2019 and the specific human rights guidelines adopted by the EU[2].

The specific objectives of this call for proposals are:

  • To support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Human Rights Defenders and their organisations working in areas where LGBTI persons are most at risk of discrimination.
  • To support civil society action towards universal abolition of the death penalty.
  • To support civic activism and participation by leveraging digital technologies.

The definition of the objectives of each of the lots of this call for proposals has been subject to an exchange of views with civil society organisations on the 24th of May 2018 in Brussels. The outcome of this exchange is published on the EuropeAid website[3]

Deadline for submission of concept notes: 21/12/2018

For the full call for proposals, please visit this link:

The link to the renewal of the Human Rights Defenders (HRD) mechanism can be found here: