MEPs vote for new €1.8 billion rule of law protection fund

Nationalist Party MEP Roberta Metsola said that guaranteeing this funding is crucial for the protecton of democracy throughout the EU

MEPs have voted in favour of the fund after long negotiations
MEPs have voted in favour of the fund after long negotiations

Euro-parliamentarians have voted to accept a new €1.83 billion fund to protect the rule of law and promote democracy in the European Union.

Nationalist Party MEP Roberta Metsola, who led the European People’s Party group during the vote, welcomed the fund, saying it would be guaranteeing that money would be made available to protect democracy everywhere in the EU.

“This is excellent news for civil society and NGOs in Malta and the rest of the EU, who we want to ensure are able to tap into the funds in order to help raise awareness about the fundamentals of democracy, and to strengthen the rule of law in EU countries,” Metsola said in a statement.

“Any healthy democracy needs a strong civil society and these funds will help greatly”.

The new fund, which was backed by the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee, covers the period 2021-2027 under the Rights and Values Programme, and is drastically higher the original €642 million amount first proposed by the European Commission.

“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,” the PN MEP highlighted.

PN MEP Roberta Metsola
PN MEP Roberta Metsola

“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.”

MEPs have proposed to put the funds to a number of uses, including for awareness campaigns on European core values and the rights and obligations derived from Union citizenship, and on initiatives to reflect on the causes of totalitarian regimes and commemorate their victims.

Town-twinning projects, support to human rights defenders and whistleblowers, measures countering hate-speech and misinformation, and the protection of victims of violence are other suggested aims towards which the funds can go.

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