The European Union (EU) is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. Human Rights and democracy are important areas of EU co-operation, and activities in this sector are supported through a number of instruments.
The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is one of these instruments and was established by Regulation (EU) No.235/2014 adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 11 March 2014 for the period 2014-2020, establishing a financing instrument for democracy and human rights worldwide through support to civil society initiatives.
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 both geographical programmes that focus on public institution-building as well as other thematic programmes, such as the CSO-LA programme. The EIDHR is also global in scope, operating at national, regional and international levels and supports actions carried out in third countries outside the European Union, throughout the world. The EIDHR offers independence of action, which is a critical feature of cooperation with civil society organisation at national level, especially in the sensitive areas of democracy and human rights. It offers great flexibility and increased capacity to respond changing circumstances or to support innovation.