Within the context of the multiannual financial framework, the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council to establish a new “EU Rights and Values programme 2021-2027” has been now presented. A significant part of the programme will be implemented by DG EAC.

The proposal highlights the following main goals and priorities for the new financing mechanism as an essential funding instrument to support human rights and democracy across the EU:

  • European Citizenship is a good policy field for developing synergies between the current funding programmes for education and EU citizenship. Stronger synergies between the Europe for Citizens programme and the Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme could be achieved through closer thematic cooperation.
  • New synergies with employment, social and education policies, in particular, through Erasmus+. In particular, the future European Social Fund plus will be a major building block of the ‘Investing in People and Values’ cluster. This building block will provide support to citizens by investing in: human capital, (youth) employment, social innovation, the acquisition of basic digital skills, the integration of migrants, the social inclusion of the most deprived, and a high level of human health protection. Potential synergies will be developed or strengthened, in particular to promote gender equality and equal opportunities for under-represented groups such as the Roma and people with disabilities, and to promote social justice, EU values and the respect of fundamental rights.

Europe for Citizens programme has demonstrated its added value at EU level thanks to its impact on participants and its role as a complement to other EU funding programmes and policy initiatives on education, culture and EU citizenship. However, inclusive and quality education is an area identified for further improvement.

ETUCE together with our national member organisations are united to protect the achievements of European integration. For that reason ETUCE welcomes the European Commission’s proposal to establish this EU Rights and Values Programme in the new programing period as a concrete way to achieve a Union of democratic change that actively engages its citizens in shaping the Union’s action.

ETUCE hopes that the EU institutions and national policy leaders will give their utmost attention to ensuring that this budget line meets the needs of education unions and civil society organisations at European level and on the ground, given the threats to democracy and human rights and the momentum for the EU. We also hope that they will ensure that on-going negotiations on the future EU budget will succeed in the establishment of an ambitious EU Rights and Values Programme 2021-2027.