Commission Proposes New Justice, Rights and Values Fund
As part of the Commission’s proposals for a new long-term EU budget, the Commission proposed a new “Justice, Rights and Values fund”. The fund will further contribute to the development of a European area of justice by simplifying the budgetary line into one financial programme. According to the Commission’s plans, €947 million over seven years (starting from 2021) should be allocated to the budget of the new fund.
The fund is divided into the Rights and Values Programme (equipped with €642 million) and the Justice Programme (with a total budget of €305 million). The former aims at protecting and promoting rights and values as enshrined in the EU Treaties. It may include the support of civil society organisations that engage in open, democratic, and inclusive societies. The programme pursues three objectives:
- Promotion of equality and rights;
- Promotion ofcitizens’ engagement and participation in the democratic life of the Union;
- The fightagainst violence.
- The Justice Programme is above all dedicated to the creation of a single European area of justice based on the rule of law, mutual recognition, and mutual trust. The specific objectives of this programme are the following:
- Facilitation and support of judicial cooperation in civil and criminal mattersas well as promotion of therule of law, for instance by supporting efforts to improve the effectiveness of national justice systemsand the enforcement of decisions;
- Promotion of judicial training, with a view to fostering a common legal, judicial, and rule-of-law culture;
- Facilitation of effective access to justiceand effective redress, e.g., regarding efficient civil and criminal procedures, the rights of victims of crime as well as the procedural rights of suspects and accused persons in criminal proceedings.
The new EU Justice, Rights and Value Fund must be distinguished from the Commission plans to better protect the financial interests of the EU in case of impairment of the rule of law in Member States. For the latter, see eucrim 1/2018, pp. 12-13.