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EED continuing core-grant making work during Covid-19 crisis

20 March 2020

EED was set up as a flexible rapid-response mechanism to respond to local needs. During this Covid-19 crisis, EED continues our core work.

EED was set up as a flexible rapid-response mechanism that responds to local needs, complementing EU and member state efforts in supporting democracy. EED funding decisions are led by priorities as identified by our applicants and partners according to changing local environments.

This flexibility and the capacity to quickly adapt to changing needs and realities sit at the heart of EED grant-making, and mean that EED is ideally placed to support activists responding to crisis situations, such as the current Covid-19 pandemic. At this difficult time, EED is continuing our core work of supporting civil activists and independent media to respond to the most pressing needs in their regions according to our mandate. We are already seeing many great examples of this work as partners adapt in creative ways to the crisis.

These are worrying times for all of us, as we seek to ensure the safety and health of our friends and loved-ones. But a crisis such as this is a particularly worrying time for those who live in more autocratic states. As governments worldwide take extraordinary measures to curb the spread of this virus, many observers fear that some leaders will use this public health crisis to seize new powers that they will be unlikely to rescind when the pandemic passes.

There are already examples worldwide of states using this crisis to crack down on dissent, to censor and intimidate journalists, to broaden state surveillance and to detain people indefinitely. These measures are likely to have a long-term effect on civic life, media and politics for years to come. It is clear that the work of our EED partners is more important than ever today to ensure that democratic values continue to be protected across the European neighbourhood and beyond.

Applications for EED grants can be made as usual via our website. As is the case the world-over, our staff are now working remotely, and while our response times might sometimes be slightly slower than usual, we will continue our core work of supporting our partners to carry out their important work and we will support our staff to work to the best of their capacity.

For now, our focus is on the health and safety of all those with whom we work. We ask that all our partners ensure that any decisions on projects or activities are made with that objective in mind. Democracy is about coming together to build better societies for us all, but in today’s situation, coming together means staying physically apart.

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