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.

Read Latest Updatest:

(Diplomatic Courier) “The government is focusing on NGOs now, of course not in a good way”, says Denisa Kramářová, a lawyer at the Czech NGO League of Human Rights. She was responding to suggestions by some in the Czech Republic’s government that a whopping €116 million (USD $135 million) be slashed ...
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/ Food for thoughts, Latest Updates
(CIVICUS and Irish Council for Civil Liberties) Ireland has a vibrant and diverse civil society. An estimated 29,000 civil society organisations (CSOs), ranging from informal local non-profit groups to formally-registered national charities, play an active role on a wide range of issues and make a significant contribution to life in Ireland.1 ...
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(International Journal on Human Rights) Eastern Europe recently came to the interest of the global human rights community when Hungary introduced a Russia-style foreign agent regulation. The regulation however, is not a standalone act, but part of a wider process of silencing independent voices, especially independent human rights, anti-corruption and democratic ...
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(LSM.LV) We bring you another piece in cooperation with the Satori.lv culture portal from the Centenary Magazine paid for by the Culture Ministry. Penned by respected political scientist Ivars Ījabs and originally appearing under the title, We'll Survive the Winter, it examines the history of civil society in Latvia, as well as immediate challenges it faces in ...
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/ Food for thoughts, Latest Updates, Latvia
(CIVICUS) As part of our 2018 report on the theme of reimagining democracy, we are interviewing civil society activists and leaders about their work to promote democratic practices and principles, the challenges they encounter and the victories they score. CIVICUS speaks to Silvia Stilli, spokesperson of AOI, the largest civil society platform in Italy, ...
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/ Food for thoughts, Italy, Latest Updates
(Open Democracy) Italian Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini, admirer of Orbán, has harshly criticized NGOs whose ships save migrants from the Mediterranean sea. Will Italy follow the Hungarian path to illiberal democracy? Viktor Orbán’s battle against NGOs and Soros is well known, as is his admiration for some of Putin’s policies ...
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/ Food for thoughts, Italy, Latest Updates
(Institute of Public Affairs) Political Capital presents its report aiming to better understand, raise awareness of and respond to populism in Poland and Hungary. Together with our partners from Poland, the Institute of Public Affairs, we conducted research on the drivers of deep social and political divisions, and we organized ...
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(The Irish Times) Law being used to shut down organisations holding politics to account For community and voluntary organisations across Ireland, yesterday’s settlement of the court proceedings between Amnesty International Ireland and the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo) brought great relief. At the High Court, Sipo withdrew its demand for ...
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(ROBERT BIEDROŃ on Politico) Brussels’ plans to link funding to rule of law risks harming the people it wants to help. WARSAW — In Poland, local government is under siege. Since the Law and Justice party (PiS) came to power in 2015, it has repeatedly tried to take away local funding and ...
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(By Mirko Herberg on International politics and society) Trade unions are under pressure worldwide. Yet they find creative ways to make the world more just and inclusive The democratic space for working people is closing off across the world. The International Trade Union Confederation’s Global Rights Index paints a bleak picture: workers are coming under ...
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