European Commission: European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights Country-Based Support Schemes for India

Deadline: 23 April 2019

The European Commission is seeking Proposals for its grant program entitled “European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights Country-Based Support Schemes for India” with an aim to promote democracy and human rights worldwide through support to civil society initiatives.

The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is a European Union programme that aims to promote democracy and human rights worldwide through support to civil society initiatives. The EIDHR was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in March 2014 (Regulation No. 235/2014) for the period 2014-2020 by replacing and building upon the EIDHR (2007-2013) and the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (2000-2006).

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 the geographical programmes, which focus on public institution-building. 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 regulation defines five main objectives:

  • Objective 1: Support to Human Rights and Human Rights Defenders in situations where they are most at risk;
  • Objective 2: Support to other EU Human Rights Priorities with main focus on protecting human dignity including abolition of the death penalty, eradication of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, support to a comprehensive approach to rehabilitation and prevention activities, protection and promotion of children’s rights, protection of women’s rights, fighting discrimination in all its forms, fighting against impunity, promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief, promotion of economic, social and cultural rights, promotion of the respect for international humanitarian law;
  • Objective 3: Support to Democracy;
  • Objective 4: Support to EU Election Observation Missions;
  • Objective 5: Support to targeted key actors and processes, including international and regional human rights instruments and mechanisms.

The specific objectives of this Call are:

  • To defend and promote the rights of vulnerable groups, such as women, persons with disability, and gender-religion-caste-ethnicity based minorities, through improved and equitable access to justice;
  • To strengthen the criminal justice system to make it more equitable, effective, accessible and accountable;

To achieve the aforementioned objectives, the project proposals have to address at least one of the priorities below:

Priority A: to support human rights defenders and civil society organizations in countering human rights violations and attacks against fundamental freedoms through improved and equitable access to justice. This includes promotion of legal empowerment and awareness of the most vulnerable groups.

Priority B: to improve accountability and transparency in the criminal justice system, ensuring upholding of the law and legal procedures with sensitivity to the rights of victims and the most vulnerable groups. This includes promoting impactful solutions through the use of technology to make the law work for people.

Particular added-value elements applicable to the Call:

  1. The choice of specific issue(s) and geographical area should preferably be substantiated with data from diversified and reliable sources establishing the magnitude of discrimination/violence faced by the proposed beneficiaries and the denial of or delay in justice suffered by the beneficiaries.
  2. Preference will be given to proposals that can demonstrate direct and effective engagement with any of the following: national and state Legal Services Authorities, national and state Human Rights Institutions, the judiciary, the Bar Council of India, state and district Bar Associations, concerned government authorities, and other justice delivery and law enforcement institutions.
  3. Applications should, wherever relevant, propose innovative approaches or methodologies including the use of technology to ensure swift, efficient and cost-effective justice delivery, and/or encourage the constitution and capacity-building of networks of local organisations and implementing actors, and where possible work with the media to leverage a multiplier effect,

In addition, the action should take into account following working principles, cross cutting elements:

Applicants are invited to analyse relevant gender gaps, and to integrate in the proposed actions, initiatives in support of gender equality and/or women empowerment (Section 1.2 of the Concept Note and 2.1 of the Full Application Form). Applications should anticipate the relevant baseline, the methodology and an initial set of gender-sensitive indicators allowing disaggregated data gathering and monitoring of the implementation of the gender equality and/or women empowerment as cross cutting issues throughout the action. Each selected proposal will be required to include dedicated activities benefiting women. Each selected proposal will be required to report against relevant “SMART” sex-disaggregated indicators mentioned in the EU Gender Action Plan 2016-2020.

Size of grants

Any grant requested under this call for proposals must fall between the following minimum and maximum amounts:

  • Minimum amount: EUR 500,000
  • Maximum amount: EUR 750,000

Eligibility Criteria

Lead applicant

  • In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must:
    • be a legal person and
    • be a civil society organisations, including non-governmental non-profit organisations and independent political foundations, community based organisations, private sector non-profit agencies, institutions and organisations, and networks thereof at local, national, regional and international level or
    • be a public sector non-profit agencies, institutions and organisations and networks at local, national, regional, and international level and
    • be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action with the co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies), not acting as an intermediary.
  • Potential applicants may not participate in calls for proposals or be awarded grants if they are in any of the situations


  • Co-applicants participate in designing and implementing the action, and the costs they incur are eligible in the same way as those incurred by the lead applicant.
  • Co-applicants must satisfy the eligibility criteria as applicable to the lead applicant himself.

Affiliated entities

  • The lead applicant and its co-applicant(s) may act with affiliated entity(ies).
  • Only the following entities may be considered as affiliated entities to the lead applicant and/or to co-applicant(s):
    • Only entities having a structural link with the applicants (i.e. the lead applicant or a co-applicant), in particular a legal or capital link.
    • This structural link encompasses mainly two notions:
      • Control, as defined in Directive 2013/34/EU on the annual financial statements, consolidated financial statements and related reports of certain types of undertakings:
        • Entities affiliated to an applicant may hence be:
          • Entities directly or indirectly controlled by the applicant (daughter companies or first-tier subsidiaries). They may also be entities controlled by an entity controlled by the applicant (granddaughter companies or second-tier subsidiaries) and the same applies to further tiers of control;
          • Entities directly or indirectly controlling the applicant (parent companies). Likewise, they may be entities controlling an entity controlling the applicant;
          • Entities under the same direct or indirect control as the applicant (sister companies).
      • Membership, i.e. the applicant is legally defined as a e.g. network, federation, association in which the proposed affiliated entities also participate or the applicant participates in the same entity (e.g. network, federation, association) as the proposed affiliated entities.

How to Apply

In order to apply for the grants, applicants have to register themselves in PADOR, an on-line database via given website.

For more information, please visit Call for Proposals and download the guidelines.

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