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.