Human rights defenders and civic organisations are increasingly under the pressure of democratic backsliding and shrinking social rights and policies in Europe today. While these challenges undermine their space of action, they often galvanise citizens to protect and expand fundamental rights (equality, inclusion, dignity, sustainability and justice) against growing political apathy, consumerism, exclusion and individualisation. Organised civil society and social movements play a crucial role in monitoring, advocating and organising resistance. And they find increasingly inspiring approaches and strategies to do so.
This fourth issue of Activizenship illustrates the finding of the Civic Space Watch the stories of the activists and groups that are at the forefront the resistance. It contains a general analysis of EU trends of deterioration and expansion observed in 2019, six interviews with inspiring activists, associations, movements or groups of citizens who fight for fundamental rights and justice for all, while also resisting attempts to deny their rights to associate, protest, speak out and act
The analysis draws from nearly 400 resources collected on the Civic Space Watch between 2018 and 2019. The report identifies key trends that impacted on civil society in that period, including: