When it comes to concretely support and fund citizens’ engagement, as well as the implementation of rights and European values, a key tool to bear in mind is the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme – also known as CERV. The latter will tackle those areas, previously targeted by both the “Europe for Citizens” programme and the “Rights, Equality and Citizenship ” one. Yet, for the seven upcoming years, projects will all merge under this single programme – CERV.
More into details, CERV has to be understood as a programme targeted to protect and promote both rights and values, which are enshrined in the Treaties, as well as in the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Furthermore, it is intended to support CSOs and stakeholders actively involved in promoting democracy and citizens’ engagement at different levels: from local to international.
Support CSOs and stakeholders actively involved in promoting democracy and citizens’ engagement
Besides, the programme is divided into four pillars, each of which is focusing on a specific area:
- Union values: to protect, promote and raise awareness on rights. Within this pillar, financial support is given to CSOs working in this sector, and active in the strengthening of the democratic framework;
- Equality, Rights and Gender Equality: to promote rights, non-discrimination, equality, including gender equality. Projects supported by this pillar are targeted to – for example – fight discrimination, protect rights of the child and prople with disabilities;
- Citizens’ engagement and participation: to encourage citizens’ involvement in the democratic life of the Union. This pillar is also designed to foster exchanges among Member States, and to raise awareness on the European history;
- Daphne: to support and promote the victims of violence. Projects under this pillar are aimed to prevent and fight all forms of gender-based violence, of violence against children or other groups at risk
Concerning the budgetary aspect, the latter amounts to over 1.55 billion euros. Hence, CERV programme is included within the Cohesion, Resilience and Value heading, which is one of the seven ones listed within the Multiannual Financial Framework.
In addition, CERV opens up to CSOs, stakeholders and any interested parties to join the CERV – Civil Dialogue Week 2021 taking place from May 25th to May 28th 2021.
As project developers, democracy and citizens’ participation promoter, ALDA is glad to learn that not only the final budget allocated has doubled, but also that great support has been given to these programmes, and to each player engaged in this sector. Thus, ALDA has always been committed to concretely turned values and principles of these programmes into concrete actions. For example, when it comes to “promote Unione Values” (pillar 1), one can think of the recently implemented DESIRE Project; focusing on the Schuman Declaration; or the successfully concluded GET UP project, when tackling “Equality, Rights and Gender Equality” (pillar 2). Last but not least, since day one ALDA has been a strategic partner to the European Commission, a relationship strengthened by worthwhile and constant “structural dialogue”, which has positively impacted on a wide number of communities in the EU and beyond.