The European Commission (EC) is offering grants to support an enabling environment for the protection of whistleblowers under its Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) Programme.
- A Union of values and rights is also based on effective law enforcement systems and the effective detection, investigation and prosecution of breaches of Union law. Support will be given to creating an enabling environment for reporting and informing on breaches of the Union law, in particular by building capacity on the effective application of the Directive on whistleblower protection (Directive (EU) 2019/1937). This Directive provides for an obligation to establish internal and external reporting channels, a strict obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the reporting person as well as for high standards of protection from retaliation and legal remedies for whistleblowers who report on breaches of EU law in a wide range of key policy areas, thus promoting the fundamental values of the rule of law and democracy as well as the right to freedom of expression, enshrined in Article 11 of the Charter.
- Civil society organisations play a crucial role in help ensuring an effective implementation of these legal standards. Projects under this priority should support and protect whistleblowers and build capacity of national authorities and legal practitioners to ensure adequate legal remedies to protect whistleblowers.
- The available call budget is EUR 16 000 000.
- The check will normally be done for all coordinators, except:
- public bodies (entities established as public body under national law, including local, regional or national authorities) or international organisations
- if the project requested grant amount is not more than EUR 60 000.
- Duration Projects should normally range between 12 and 24 months (extensions are possible, if duly justified and through an amendment).
- Supporting an enabling environment for the protection of whistleblowers
- Increased awareness and understanding by the general public and by potential whistleblowers, of the existing reporting channels and procedures, as well as of the rights provided under the Directive on whistleblower protection;
- Increased capacity and knowledge of civil society and, if where relevant aof other representatives, such as national authorities or practitioners active in the field of whistleblowing protection, to correctly apply the Directive’s rules addressed to private organisations and public entities;
- Improved effectiveness and coherence of the Directive’s application, including through improved cooperation between national, regional or local authorities and civil society.
- Enhanced data collection on whistleblower reports and cases of retaliation and enhanced capacity of the national systems to record whistleblower reports and cases and to assess the effectiveness of the national laws transposing the Directive.
In order to be eligible, the applicants (lead applicants “Coordinator”, co-applicants and affiliated entities) must:
- For lead applicants (i.e. the “Coordinator”): be non-profit legal entities (private bodies)
- For co-applicants: be non-profit or profit legal entities (public or private bodies). Organisations which are profit-oriented may apply only in partnership with private non-profit organisations;
- be formally established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
- EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
- Activities must take place in any of the eligible countries (EU Member States);
- The EU grant applied for cannot be lower than EUR 75 000;
- The project can be either national or transnational; the application may involve one or more organisations (lead applicant “Coordinator” and coapplicants).
- Beneficiaries and affiliated entities must register in the Participant Register — before submitting the proposal — and will have to be validated by the Central Validation Service (REA Validation). For the validation, they will be requested to upload documents showing legal status and origin.
- Other entities may participate in other consortium roles, such as associated partners, subcontractors, third parties giving in-kind contributions, etc.
- Specific cases
- Natural persons — Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of selfemployed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legal personality separate from that of the natural person).
- International organisations — International organisations are eligible. The rules on eligible countries do not apply to them.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees for the protection of the EU financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons
- EU bodies — EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.
For more information, visit EC.