New €2 billion fund to protect rule of law welcomed by MEP Metsola
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MEPs, after long negotiations, have voted to accept a new €1.83 billion fund to protect the rule of law and promote democracy within the European Union.
MEP for Malta and Gozo, Roberta Metsola, who led the EPP Group Committee during the vote, welcomed the new fund saying that guaranteeing funding is crucial for the protection of democracy everywhere in the EU.
“This is excellent news for civil society and NGOs in Malta, Gozo and the rest of the EU, who we want to be able to tap into the funds in order to help raise awareness of the fundamentals of democracy and to strengthen the rule of law in Member States,” said MEP Metsola.
“Any healthy democracy needs a strong civil society and these funds will help greatly,” she added.
The Civil Liberties Committee backed a budget of €1.834 billion for the Rights and Values Programme for the period 2021-2027, way over the €642 million proposed by the European Commission.
Ms Metsola said that, “the amount originally proposed by the Commission was a good start, but the challenges that are facing EU States more than justified our vote to triple the budget. We have to put our money where our mouth is.”
“This fund will mean that the values that form the basis for our European Union will not only be lofty ideals that we speak of but will be protected on the ground,” she said.
MEPs have proposed to use the funds for awareness campaigns on European core values and the rights and obligations derived from Union citizenship, initiatives to reflect on the causes of totalitarian regimes and to commemorate their victims, town-twinning projects, support to human rights defenders and whistleblowers, measures countering hate-speech and misinformation, and protection of victims of violence.