Sign up to receive updates about our work in Europe.

European Union

Related Regions

European Union

The Open Society Foundations work to influence and inform European Union policies to ensure that open society values are at the heart of what the EU does, both inside and outside its borders.

The Open Society Foundations share the values on which the European Union was founded, and seek toensure that the freedoms, rights, and principles that it espouses are put into practice in Europe andelsewhere in the world. We regard many of the EU’s policies, funding and legal instruments as providinga vital infrastructure for the most vulnerable people in Europe, and an enabling environment for vibrantdemocratic pluralism.

For example, the Racial Equality Directive seeks to combat discrimination on the grounds of racial orethnic origin; the Data Protection Directive protects the privacy of individuals and seeks to ensure thatpersonal data can only be gathered legally under strict conditions, for a legitimate purpose; and theDirective on the Rights, Support and Protection of Victims of Crime seeks to ensure that victims arerecognized, treated with respect and receive proper protection, support and access to justice. EU fundsoffer substantial support to civil society in Europe that can promote the inclusion of marginalizedpeople, and we work to ensure that they achieve these goals in implementation.

In the EU’s 28 member-states, recent political and economic turmoil presents serious challenges for theopen society. Tolerance, accountability and even democratic governance are at risk in parts of the EU.Open Society seeks to prevent the rolling back of democratic values by promoting the application ofuniversal values—including democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law—in EU policies andactions, and also at national and regional levels of government.

Learn More

Contact Us

Questions about our work on this topic? Please use this contact box.

Programs

The following Open Society programs focus on this topic.

More on the ideas and programs behind our work: European Union. Hide info

Recent Work

Event
Armed Drones, Counterterrorism, and Human Rights: The Need for a European Voice?

A panel of speakers with firsthand insight into drone operations will discuss human rights in the context of drone use and the fight against terrorism.

Voices
Open Society in the Post-Brexit European Union

To realize the European Union’s original ambitions, those who are committed to open society principles must address the politics of fear.

Voices
Taking Stock of Brexit

The impact of the UK’s decision to quit the European Union will go far beyond an immediate loss of economic confidence, and may challenge the country’s historic faith in open society values.

Voices
The Immigration Detention Puzzle

Many countries have conflicting, secretive policies on detaining migrants and asylum seekers. More transparency would make these systems work better for everyone.

Voices
Croatia Rallies in Support of Education Reform

In Croatia, protests stretching across the country voiced a clear call to reform an outdated education system. Now it’s time for the government to respond.

Event
Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo

This conference brings together institutional, academic, and civil society actors to discuss the role and responsibility of the EU in supporting a credible democratic process in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Open Society People

heather grabbe
Director, Open Society European Policy Institute
Open Society European Policy Institute