Food For Thoughts

The European Civic Forum is aware that policies and legislative measures are only one tool that state and non-state actors have at their disposal to hinder the actions of civil society. The first obstacle they face is isolation and delegitimation, which allows governments to openly attack activists without facing citizens’ opposition

According to a research requested by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights,

“The burden of argumentation has now switched around to fall on civil society’s shoulders. Civic groups are faced with the need to explain why they should have the right to exist unhindered and receive support from the outside. This is a major inversion of the whole civic climate that goes well beyond the individual NGO laws that have been introduced – and the significance of this inversion has still not been fully seized. It means inter alia that effective responses will need to rework a whole narrative about the merits and rights of civil society.”

This section of the European Civic Space Watch aims at collecting positive stories and new, constructive narratives on the role of civil society in ensuring the well-functioning of democracy and defending citizens’ interests in national and supranational policymaking. It also includes analysis of the crisis of values that is at the core of shrinking civic space in Europe.

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Article originally published on Freemuse website, 10 January 2020 - accessible here The Security, Creativity, Tolerance and their Co-existence: The New European Agenda on Freedom of Artistic Expression outlines how European governments carry the legal responsibility to respect, protect and fulfil obligations to artistic freedom. The report further draws attention to the ...
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Report by Amnesty International, released on 3 March 2020, more infos here What is the problem? In recent years, compassion has been turned into a crime across Europe. People who have helped refugees and migrants have been threatened, smeared, intimidated, harassed, and dragged through the courts to face punishment simply ...
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Online harassment and attacks on journalists – including threats, insults and smear campaigns – are increasingly deployed as a means to silence journalists and challenge their credibility in the public arena. While addressing online harassment and its negative impact on the free flow of information requires a multi-actor approach, newsrooms ...
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Article originally published on HEC Paris website, 20 February 2020 - accessible here Author: Alberto Alemanno HOW TO MAKE EU REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY PAN-EUROPEAN? Enemy number one to Europe’s democratic advance is represented by our national political systems and their respective political classes, including and especially its youngest leaders. Traditional political ...
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Article originally published on Transeuropa Caravans, 6 February 2020 - Accessible here Freedom of movement is one of the key rights of EU citizens. The population of mobile EU citizens has recently doubled, with around 17 million citizens of voting age in 2019, but the levels of voter registration for ...
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Policy brief by Lina Vosyliūtė, Centre for European Policy Studies - December 2019 This ReSOMA brief explores some options for strategic litigation and advocacy to stop and prevent the criminalisation of migration and wider policing of humanitarianism. It is answering the following questions: • How can criminalised individuals, civil society ...
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/ Food for thoughts, Migration
In collaboration with the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, ECNL has drafted a summary of her 2019 General Assembly report (A/74/335). Find out in the briefer how the increasing amount of soft law in this field becomes hard law, ...
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Following our 2019 special report on anti-rights groups and civil society responses, Civicus has been interviewing civil society activists and leaders about their experiences of backlash from anti-rights groups and their strategies to strengthen progressive narratives and civil society responses. CIVICUS speaks about civil society protests against the World Congress of ...
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Publication by Civicus - January 2020, accessible here. Civil society is often at the forefront of tackling inequality and exclusion around the world. Yet these external activities are not always reflected in the internal operations of civil society organisations (CSOs). While there is broad recognition of the significant value that ...
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Read the article published by Balkan Insight, 2 January 2020, HERE. Balkan Insight proposes a review of the most important protests that took place in the Balkans in 2019. The issues people protested in public against ranged from corruption to authoritarianism, lack of women’s right and inaction on the environment ...
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