On March 29, 2007, European Commission representatives presented a workshop in Tel Aviv to NGO representatives regarding its new NGO funding mechanisms EIDHR II, and the “Non-State Actors” program. These mechanisms replace the previous EIDHR program. Under the new initiative more than 60% of funding (over €200 million) will go directly to NGOs. Under EIDHR II, there will be an emphasis on “support to human rights defenders.” Available funding to Israeli and Palestinian NGOs for 2007 is expected to be in excess of €3 million. Attendees at the workshop included representatives of B’tselem, Yesh Din, PCATI, HRA, Mossawa, and Bimkom.
At the workshop, an NGO Monitor representative asked how the Commission plans to ensure that EU funds distributed via EIDHR II will not be utilized to fund politicized NGOs, such as ICAHD, who undermine EU policies. In response, officials present at the meeting stated that the EU “funds projects, not organizations” and that “NGO Independence” is a key component of EIDHR II. NGO Monitor will continue to report on implementation.