Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading/single reading  
2018/0207(COD) - 17/12/2018  

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs adopted the report by Bodil VALERO (Greens/EFA, SE) on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Rights and Values programme.

The Committee on Culture and Education and the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, exercising their prerogatives as associated committees in accordance with Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure, also gave their opinions on the report.

The committee recommended that the European Parliament's position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure should amend the Commission's proposal as follows.

Subject matter

Members proposed that this Regulation shall establish the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme.

Objectives

The general objectives of the Programme shall be to:

- Union value strand: to protect and promote democracy and the rule of law at local, regional, national and transnational level;

- Equality, Rights and Gender Equality strand: to promote equality, including gender equality, rights, non-discrimination and advance gender mainstreaming;

- Active Citizenship strand: to raise citizens’, in particular young people’s, awareness of the importance of the Union through activities aimed at keeping alive remembrance of the historic events that led to its creation, and to promote democracy, freedom of expression, pluralism, civic engagement as well as meetings of citizens and their active participation in the democratic life of the Union;

- Daphne strand: to fight violence, including gender based violence.

Union values strand

Members proposed introducing this new strand with the aim of:

- protecting and promoting democracy and the rule of law;

- providing support for independent human rights defenders and civil society organisations undertaking monitoring compliance with the rule of law, for whistleblower defence and for initiatives that promote the shared culture of transparency, good governance and fight against corruption;

- promoting the construction of a more democratic Union as well as protecting and raising awareness of the rights and values enshrined in the Treaties.

Budget

The financial envelope for the implementation of the Programme for the period 2021-2027 shall be EUR 1 627 000 000 in 2018 prices.  It shall be divided as follows:

- EUR 754 062 000 for the new Union values strand;

- EUR 429 372 000 (i.e. 26.39% of the total financial envelope) for the Equality, rights and gender equality and Daphne strand;

- EUR 443 566 000 (i.e. 27.26% of the total financial envelope) for the Active citizenship strand.

Implementation and forms of EU funding

The Programme may provide funding in any of the forms laid down in the Financial Regulation, primarily through action grants as well as annual and multiannual operating grants. That funding shall be implemented in such a way as to ensure sound financial management, prudent use of public funds, lower levels of administrative burden for the Programme operator and for beneficiaries, as well as accessibility of the Programme funds to potential beneficiaries. Lump sums, unit costs, flat rates and cascading grants (financial support to third parties) may be used. Co-funding shall be accepted in kind and may be waived in cases of limited complementary funding.

Values Support Mechanism

In exceptional cases, where there is a serious and rapid deterioration in a Member State as regards compliance with Union values enshrined in Article 2 TEU, and those values are at risk of not being sufficiently protected and promoted, the Commission may open a call for proposals in the form of a fast-track procedure for grant applications for civil society organisations, with a view to facilitate, support and enhance the democratic dialogue in the Member State in question and to address the problem of insufficient compliance with the values enshrined in Article 2 TEU.

Programme Contact Points

In each Member State there shall be an independent programme contact point with qualified staff tasked, in particular, with providing the stakeholders and beneficiaries of the Programme with impartial guidance, practical information and assistance regarding all aspects of the Programme, including in relation to the application procedure.