Civil society support and funding in the area of fundamental rights, the rule of law and democracy

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In 2017, the EESC adopted an own-initiative opinion on the topic of "Financing of CSOs by the EU" (SOC/563). Given the quick evolutions in the area of civic space over the past five years, it would be necessary to update the EESC vision on the topic, and to bring a particular focus on support and financing of CSOs working in the area of fundamental rights, the rule of law, and democracy.

CSOs working on these themes are generally confronted to raising difficulties, from regulatory challenges to financial constraints and concerted attacks on their work and credibility. The opinion would enable the EESC to engage with specialised CSOs, identify the main issues they face, and propose ways of improving support, in particular to the European Commission. The opinion will have a particular focus on the issue of EU funding as a key element of EU support. A public hearing would allow to invite CSOs to formulate proposals on how they could be better supported and funded.