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All about the CERV programme

The “Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values” Programme was adopted for the period 2021-2027 in April 2021 by the Council and the Parliament. It was created in parallel to the “Justice” programme within the Justice, Rights and Values Fund and is the result of the merger of the “Europe for Citizens” and “Equality, Rights and Citizenship” programmes.

A few lines to understand concretely what the CERV funds

While the Union aims to promote peace, its values and the well-being of its peoples, many emerging movements challenge the idea of open, inclusive and democratic societies and threaten the enjoyment of rights and civic participation as well as the strengthening of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes. Combating these movements is a real challenge for the EU Member States and can only be achieved through cross-border cooperation.

The CERV programme is part of the European strategy to combat this phenomenon. It funds projects that aim to support and strengthen open, democratic, egalitarian, inclusive and rule of law-based European societies. It aims to foster the engagement and empowerment of civil society, to promote the democratic, civic and social participation of citizens, and to enhance the diversity of European society based on our common values, history and shared memory.

The programme has a budget of 894.1 million euro for the period 2021-2027. For 2023, it is allocated 202.958.792 euro, broken down as follows:

  • “Protecting and promoting the Union’s values: €108,683,873
  • “Promoting equality and rights”: €36,863,099
  • “Promoting citizens’ engagement and participation in the democratic life of the Union”: € 32,154,085
  • “Daphne”: €25,257,735

Structuring the CERV into four complementary strands

The CERV programme has four strands with specific objectives, which are in turn divided into several actions to structure the implementation of the programme and increase its effectiveness.

1. The “Union Values” strand

The first strand of the programme aims to protect, promote and raise awareness of fundamental rights and values of the Union. It is composed of 3 distinct actions:

  • Protecting and promoting the values of the European Union;
  • 4-year framework partnership agreements to support European networks, civil society organisations active at EU level and European think tanks in the field of EU values;
  • Promote capacity building and awareness raising on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and activities on strategic litigation related to democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights violations.

2. The “Equality, Rights and Gender Equality” strand

This second strand of the programme aims to promote equality, prevent and combat inequality and discrimination by supporting projects that implement policies to promote women’s rights and gender equality. It is composed of 5 actions:

  • Promoting equality and combating racism, xenophobia and discrimination;
  • National contact points for Roma, for Roma equality, inclusion and participation;
  • Promoting gender equality;
  • Protecting and promoting the rights of the child;
  • National data protection authorities to contact stakeholders in data protection legislation.

3. The “Citizen Engagement and Participation” strand

This strand is a continuation of the previous “Europe for Citizens” programme. Indeed, it continues to promote and engage citizens’ participation in the democratic life of the Union through town twinning and networking and projects commemorating key moments in modern European history. It consists of 3 main actions

  • European Remembrance;
  • Citizen participation and involvement;
  • Town twinning and networks.

4. The “Daphne” strand

The strand aims to prevent and combat at all levels all forms of gender-based and domestic violence against women, children and other groups concerned. It is composed of 3 actions:

  • Prevention and fight against all forms of gender-based violence;
  • Preventing and combating all forms of violence against children, young people, and any group at risk: LGBTQI community and people with disabilities;
  • Support and protect all direct and indirect victims of such violence, in particular to enable them to make their voices heard.

Who can benefit from the programme?

Entities that are eligible for funding under the programme are structures established in a Member State or an Overseas Country or Territory. They can be :

  • Civil society organisations (community-based organisations, women’s rights organisations, organisations for the promotion and protection of the rule of law, good governance and democracy)
  • Regional and local authorities
  • Legal entities
  • Twinning committees
  • International and European organisations
  • European research and think tanks in the fields of the different strands
  • Cultural, youth and educational organisations
  • Equality bodies
  • European data protection authorities
  • Other actors active at local, regional, national and transnational levels

Please note that the beneficiaries of the ERCV may vary according to the different strands and priorities announced for the calls for projects. Please refer to the eligibility criteria in the text of the call.

Many types of activities are funded by the programme, such as:

  • European citizens’ awareness raising and training activities
  • Exchange and dissemination of good practices
  • Analysis and monitoring of public policies
  • Capacity building of European networks
  • Projects to commemorate European values and history

CERV calls for projects

The programme has a budget of € 894.1 million for the period 2021-2027. The novelty for this period is the single annual submission date for the calls for projects according to the strands.
The different calls are published on the EU Funding & Tenders Portal page dedicated to the CERV programme as well as on Eurofunding – Welcomeurope (subscribe for free HERE and receive all funding opportunities).

For more information:

  • Work Programme 2023-2024: Click here
  • National contact point: Click here
  • For any other question related to the CERV: EC-CERVCALLS@ec.europa.eu
  • For assistance with your European projects: Welcomeurope

Welcomeurope ©
Elodie Roure – Marie Cousin


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