As part of the new programs promoted by the EU, there is the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values program (Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values program-CERV ) which aims to strengthen and promote the rights and values of the EU which is an absolute priority of the European Commission. The program reflects this priority and with the overall budget of € 1,55 billion for the next 7-year period represents the largest EU fund to promote and protect fundamental rights, the rule of law and democracy within of the EU.
It is made up of four strands:
(1) Union values with the aim of protecting and promoting the values of the Union. Projects in this area
focus on the protection, promotion and awareness of rights, providing financial support to civil society organizations active at local, regional and transnational level in the promotion and cultivation of these rights, thus also strengthening the protection and promotion of the values of Union and respect for the rule of law and contributing to the construction of a more democratic Union, democratic dialogue, transparency and good governance.
(2) Equality, rights and gender equality
With the aim of promoting rights, non-discrimination, equality, including gender equality, and advancing the integration of the gender dimension and non-discrimination. Projects in this area:
- prevent and combat inequalities and discrimination based on sex, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation and respect the principle of non-discrimination on the grounds provided for by Article 21 of the EU Charter;
- promote the full enjoyment of women's rights, gender equality, including work-life balance, women's empowerment and gender mainstreaming;
- fight all forms of discrimination, racism, xenophobia, arophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim hatred, and other forms of intolerance, including homophobia and other forms of intolerance based on gender identity both online and offline;
- protect and promote children's rights, raise awareness of children's rights in judicial proceedings, capacity building of child protection systems;
- protect and promote the rights of people with disabilities, for their active inclusion and full participation in society;
- address the challenges related to personal data protection and data protection reform, as well as support the dialogue between stakeholders in this area
- support efforts to enable individuals to exercise their rights as EU citizens and enforce the rights of free movement, as well as address the abuse of these rights.
(3) Citizen engagement and participation
With the aim of promoting the commitment and participation of citizens in the democratic life of the Union and exchanges between citizens of the various Member States and increasing awareness of the common European history. Projects in this sector will have to:
- to remember, research and educate on the decisive events of recent European history, including the causes and consequences of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, and to sensitize European citizens to their common history, their culture, their cultural heritage and their values, improving thus their understanding of the Union, its origins, its purpose and its diversity;
- to promote the participation and contribution of citizens and representative associations to the democratic and civil life of the Union, making their views known and publicly exchanging in all areas of Union action
- promote exchanges between citizens of different countries, in particular through town twinning and networks, in order to offer them a practical experience of the richness and diversity of the common heritage of the Union and to make them aware that these form the foundation of a common future.
Research Calls for citizen engagement and participation
With the aim of combating violence, including gender-based violence. Projects in this sector will have to:
- prevent and combat all forms of gender-based violence against women and girls and domestic violence at all levels, including by promoting the standards established by the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention);
- prevent and combat all forms of violence against children, young people, as well as violence against other groups at risk, such as LGBTQI people and people with disabilities;
- support and protect all direct and indirect victims of such violence, such as domestic violence within the family or violence in intimate relationships, including children orphans of domestic crimes, and support and ensure the same level of protection throughout Union for Victims of Gender-Based Violence.