Yesterday the members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament had an exchange of views on establishing a financing instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights (EIDHR) worldwide in the presence of experts, among others Lilia Rebai, Co-founder of L’Association Tunisienne pour l’Intégrité et la Démocratie des Elections (ATIDE), a partner organisation of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Tunisia. Ms Rebai brought into the discussion the perspective of a local organisation working on the ground and as such a target group of the democracy and human rights instrument.
Ms Rebai: “We share the same values and the support of the European Union is important. However the procedures in place to access EU funding are often too cumbersome and need to be adapted to our needs on the ground.” Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, chair of the FDP in the European Parliament and Rapporteur for the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights also emphasised the importance of democracy support as part of the EIDHR mandate. “Supporting democracy does not only mean supporting election observation missions. Even though these are important, support should be provided to the full electoral cycle”, said Lambsdorff. FNF that is currently successfully implementing several EIDHR projects shares this position. In the view of FNF, the EIDHR has proven to be a valuable and unique instrument that has supported numerous organizations. In order for EIDHR to have an even greater impact and to react appropriately especially in situations and countries in crisis, however, more flexible and simple mechanisms need to be put in place while respecting principles of transparency and accountability. At the same time in order to satisfy the increased demand for urgent protection not only in the European Neighbourhood, an increase in the EIDHR budget would be important.
FNF has been successfully implementing EIDHR co-funded projects for several years and has accompanied the debate on the future shape of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights intensively. In this context a position paper with a set of recommendations on the future EIDHR has been drafted by FNF together with the other German and European Political Foundations under the roof of the European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP).
Download the position paper here.
In the picture:
Jean-Paul Marthoz (Le Soir), Christina Brunnenkamp (FNF), Lilia Rebai (ATIDE), Alexander Graf Lambsdorff MEP, Carlos Hernandez Ferreiro (EPD), Alba Çako (FNF)