European Digital Rights was founded in June 2002. Currently, 31 civil rights organisations based in 18 countries in Europe have EDRi membership. EDRi’ mission is to promote, protect and uphold civil and human rights in the digital environment.

Legal form
Non-profit organization

We work to defend the pillars of a democratic society. We campaign for the rule of law and human rights online, in particular for the right to privacy and to freedom of expression, whenever they are threatened by corporate or governmental activities. In recent years, this included successful campaigns for the strengthening of European privacy rules, and against the introduction of arbitrary online censorship and the mass surveillance of our communications.


The year 2016

 The Paris/Brussels terrorist attacks had major implications for our work and impacted the political agenda of the European Union. As a result, we saw a fast-tracking of surveillance and security measures that our analysis found to be in violation of basic fundamental rights.

In spite of the tragic events, we celebrated some victories for human rights online. We had a major victory in August, when Europe’s fight for strong net neutrality rules (part of our freedom of expression campaign) ended successfully. Other key campaigns focused on the right to privacy with the upcoming reform of EU-wide rules on online tracking and encryption, and on the preparation for the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation that was passed earlier this year.

Key Achievements

# We took the lead in the campaign for an EU-wide reform of rules on privacy in electronic communications and played a key role in the civil society efforts that led to the adoption of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in April 2016.

# We published influential analysis of the flexibilities of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was welcomed by the EU Commission, the Article 29 Working Party of national data protection authorities, the Fundamental Rights Agency and the European Data Protection Supervisor.

# The EU Ombudsman opened an inquiry into the Commission’s refusal to disclose documents of EU Internet Forum, as a result of our official complaint.

# Our announcement to leave the “EU Internet Forum” has led to overwhelmingly critical press reporting on the Forum’s Code of Conduct, launched 31 May.



Main Activities

– Advocacy
– Platform and network for national digital rights groups
– Campaigns
– Awareness-raising of digital human rights issues

Finance and Main Partners

Open Society Foundations

Adessium Foundation

Ford Foundation

The Democracy and Media Foundation

European Commission

Public donations

Corporations (not more than 30% of annual budget)