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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(kvinnatillkvinna) During this time, we have listened to members of the feminist grassroots movements to identify their priorities and provide safe spaces for women human rights defenders to meet and exchange ideas. We have persistently provided long-term financial support, something that is quite unique in the development cooperation community, as ...
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/ Food for thoughts
(Novara Media) On 6 February, the Stansted 15 – a group of activists who locked themselves around a plane to stop a deportation flight in 2017 – were sentenced after being found guilty of terror-related offences. For 23 months they confronted the full wrath of the Home Office and the threat of ...
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(Human Rights Watch) – The Polish government is targeting women’s rights activists and organizations, putting women’s rights and safety at risk, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. More than two years after the first mass protests against efforts to further restrict abortion access, the ruling Law and Justice (Prawo ...
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/ Food for thoughts, Poland
(The Guardian) From air quality to sex education and corruption, citizens across the country are taking on the authorities – and winning. By Christian Davies in Warsaw and Lubartów Back when Anna Gryta and Elżbieta Wąs started a local campaign to preserve a town square in south-east Poland, they had no idea it would ...
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(ECNL, Human Right House Zagreb) This research provides an estimation of the level of protection of the right to public assembly in Croatia during 2017 and 2018 and includes an analysis of the main elements of organization and administration of assemblies as well as the identification of respective challenges. The data ...
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Under attack about their legitimacy and accountability, CSOs defending citizens’ rights have to maintain credibility among their constituency and the wider public. Tamryn Lee Fourie and Merle Rutz from CIVICUS guide us through the organisation’s journey to ensure strong accountability and transparency to its members, beneficiaries and donors. The present ...
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/ Food for thoughts, Latest Updates
(Index) Saturday afternoon, the series of demonstrations against the Overtime Act continued in Budapest and numerous countryside locations. There were demonstrations or roadblocks in Miskolc, Tatabánya, Debrecen, Sopron, and many other places. The organisation behind the countrywide protests is the National Strike-preparation and Demonstration Organising Committee, consisting of the Hungarian Federation of Trade ...
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(Ligue des droits de l'homme) On the eve of Act X of the mobilisation of the Yellow Vests, the League for Human Rights (LDH) is concerned about the repression of demonstrators. It calls on the government to prevent all police violence and to guarantee the right to demonstrate in complete safety ...
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(Jacobin) Hungary has been gripped by mass protests against Viktor Orbán’s 'slave law' on overtime. It's the biggest challenge yet to the far-right government. On December 12, Hungary’s parliament passed a law allowing employers to demand staff work up to 400 hours overtime per year, with payment delayed for up to ...
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(ROAR) France’s neoliberal order trembles as the yellow vest revolt shatters established political conventions. The new terrain presents both dangers and opportunities. The present order is the disorder of the future. — Saint-Just (1767–1794) As I write these words, a veritable earthquake is rippling through French politics and society. Four weeks ...
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/ Food for thoughts, France
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