ENoP participates in the EIDHR Forum 2014

ENoP participates in the EIDHR Forum 2014

“Protecting those who protect” - this was the 2014 motto of the EIDHR forum. Each year the European Commission organizes the spring forum dedicated to the reality of human rights on the ground and the implementation of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). ENoP was represented in this important event through the members of its working group Financial Instruments, Alba Ҫako (chair) and Anne Schley. Around 400 NGOs from all over the world welcomed the opportunity to discuss with EU representatives the support to human rights defenders for the upcoming seven years, the review of the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders ten years after their adoption as well as to exchange information on concrete projects on the ground. ENoP, whose member organizations have been implementing EIDHR co-funded projects for many years, welcomes the efforts of the European Commission to improve the EIDHR funding mechanisms and make them more flexible. Furthermore, the ENoP representatives highlighted the importance of including the topic of democracy into the actions supported by the EIDHR. Human Rights and Democracy go hand in hand with the empowering freedoms such as the freedom of expression, assembly, association, which underpin democracy. Therefore, it is a positive development that this important topic has been included into the objectives of the new EIDHR Regulation. Additionally, the participants agreed that democratic institutions, which address human rights violations, are essential. Civil society can play a crucial role in this regard. The EU Special Representative for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis: “civil society‘s role is not to be nice. It is to bring to the fore alleged human rights violations. Fighting for human rights is not about going around the world to make a point but to make a difference. This is very difficult endeavour and you cannot be doing what you are doing unless you are fundamentally optimistic. The EU will not give up on human rights internally and externally. The inspiration that you – civil society - give us is much needed fuel for our efforts and endeavours for human rights.” ENoP will continue to monitor the further implementation of valuable financial instruments such as EIDHR and contribute to its further development. Alba Ҫako