Overseas Countries
and Territories Association

Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme

Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union states that ‘the Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom democracy, equality, the rule of law and the respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society where pluralism, nondiscrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail’.

The Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme provides funding for citizens’ engagement, promoting equality for all and implementing EU rights and values.

Its general objective is to protect and promote the rights and values enshrined in the Treaties, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and in the applicable international human rights conventions. The programme does this in particular by supporting civil society organisations and other stakeholders active at local, regional, national and transnational level, and by encouraging civic and democratic participation, in order to sustain and further develop open, rightsbased, democratic, equal and inclusive societies based on the rule of law. It pays particular attention to encouraging the participation of regional and local civil society organisations.


Eligibility of OCTs

Organisations established in OCTs are eligible to calls published under the CERV programme. Eventually, certain calls under the “Union strand” might only be available for Member States.

Key facts of the programme

The programme supports the following specific objectives, which correspond to its strands of activity:

Union values strand

Projects in this area will focus on protecting, promoting and raising awareness on rights by providing financial support to civil society organisations active at local, regional and transnational level in promoting and cultivating these rights, thereby also strengthening the protection and promotion of Union values and the respect for the rule of law and contributing to the construction of a more democratic Union, democratic dialogue, transparency and good governance.

Equality, rights and gender equality strand

Projects in this area will:

  • prevent and combat inequalities and discrimination on grounds of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation and respecting the principle of non-discrimination on the grounds provided for in Article 21 of the EU Charter;
  • promote women’s full enjoyment of rights, gender equality, including work-life balance, women’s empowerment and gender mainstreaming;
  • combat all forms of discrimination, racism, xenophobia, afrophobia, antisemitism, anti-gypsism, 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 the rights of the child, awareness raising of children rights in judicial proceedings, capacity-building of child protection systems;
  • protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities, for their active inclusion and full participation in society;
  • tackle the challenges related to the protection of personal data and data protection reform, as well as to support the stakeholder dialogue in this area;
  • support the efforts to enable people to exercise their rights as EU citizens and enforce free movement rights, as well as tackling the abuse of those rights.

Citizens’ engagement and participation strand

Projects in this area will:

  • remember, research and educate about defining events in recent European history, including the causes and consequences of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, and at raising awareness among European citizens, of their common history, culture, cultural heritage and values, thereby enhancing their understanding of the Union, its origins, purpose and diversity;
  • promote citizens and representative associations’ participation in and contribution to the democratic and civic life of the Union by making known and publicly exchanging their views in all areas on Union action;
  • promote exchanges between citizens of different countries, in particular through town-twinning and networks of towns, so as to afford them practical experience of the wealth and diversity of the common heritage of the Union and to make them aware that these constitute the foundation for a common future.

Daphne strand

Projects in this area will:

  • prevent and combating at all levels all forms of gender-based violence against women and girls and domestic violence, also by promoting the standards laid down in the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention);
  • preventing and combating all forms of violence against children, young people, as well as violence against other groups at risk, such as LGBTQI persons and persons with disabilities;
  • support and protect all direct and indirect victims of such violence, such as domestic violence exerted within the family or violence in intimate relationships, including children orphaned by domestic crimes, and supporting and ensuring the same level of protection throughout the Union for victims of gender-based violence.


How is the programme managed ?

The CERV programme is centrally managed by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Justice and Consumers.

The calls and further information are published under the Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal.