On 9 December, on the eve of Human Rights Day and coinciding with the Summit for Democracy, the European Union launched the Global Europe Human Rights and Democracy programme.

This programme, worth €1.5 billion, steps up EU support in promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, democracy, and the rule of law and the work of civil society organisations and human rights defenders around the world during the period 2021–2027.

The programme will promote and protect the universality of human rights, strengthen the rule of law and accountability for human rights violations and abuses, and defend the full and effective exercise of fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of expression, supporting independent journalism and media, while seizing opportunities and countering risks associated with digital and new technologies.

“The Global Europe Human Rights and Democracy programme will allow us to strengthen our support to and protection of universal human rights and democratic principles worldwide: for everyone, at any time and everywhere,” said EU High Representative Josep Borrell.

The Global Europe Human Rights and Democracy programme can support activities in any country outside the EU and at global level. It complements other EU programmes at local, country, and regional levels.

The programme is flexible as regards procedures, and supports civil society actions independently of the consent of partner countries’ governments and other public authorities.