CALL FOR EU ACTION TO SAFEGUARD DEMOCRACY
AND FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
We stand with the people of Poland who marched this week-end in defence of democracy and European values. We are concerned that adopted and proposed legislation of the Polish government undermines fundamental rights and freedoms. This includes: limitations to the independence of the judiciary undermining the system of checks and balances and violation of the constitution, restrictions on the autonomy of the public media and a challenge to basic individual privacy which lies at the heart of European democracy. Many protesters have recently highlighted how a series of new proposals would threaten their core rights and freedom and have marched to the office of the President.
In this context, we welcome the quick reaction of the European institutions towards recent developments in Poland, especially the decision taken by the European Commission to activate the “Rule of law mechanism” to monitor clear indications of systemic threat and, engage in dialogue with its government to remedy to the situation and, ultimately, apply sanctions if needed, under the ‘article 7 procedure’.
The European institutions should now ensure consistent and systematic monitoring on the state of fundamental rights and democratic values in EU member States in a period when these rights are questioned by many governments, as suggested for example in the European Parliament 2013 resolution on the Situation of fundamental rights: standards and practices in Hungary. We are concerned about Hungary in its disregard for core freedoms and the failure of the European Union to act robustly to defend fundamental rights in this country. We also think the European institutions should scrutinize and engage in dialogue about measures recently taken or announced in the UK, Denmark, France, Belgium and Spain to reduce the right of protest and limit the ability to engage in lawful campaigning, to weaken judicial oversight and the right to privacy, as well as the right to asylum.
We stand with civil society and show solidarity with organisations and movements of citizens in Poland, Hungary and elsewhere, taking to the streets in legitimate protest against their government’s reduction of civil liberty. Finally, we will continue to work in partnership with local organisations for the defence of a Europe of freedom and democracy.
We call on the European institutions:
- to put at the forefront of their action, as Guardian of the Treaties, the respect and the promotion of the fundamental values of the Union and the core European requirements of democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law
We call on the European Commission:
- to develop a regular review of fundamental rights and values in all EU member States with the involvement of civil society through the provision of reports and hearings
- to ensure transparency of the process and an inclusive dialogue
- to ensure a consistent use of the “Rule of law mechanism” also for Hungary, and in any Member State when needed
We call on the European Parliament:
- to adopt in its own forthcoming initiative report on an EU mechanism on democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights a stringent and transparent proposal for the review of the implementation of fundamental rights through country reports.
We call on the European Council:
- to put urgently on its agenda a debate on the respect of the Union’s fundamental values, state of democracy and the rule of law also as a response by concerns raised by the UN and the Council of Europe
Read more in the following links about the positions of CSE members:
CIVIL SOCIETY EUROPE CALLS ON LEADERS OF EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS MEETING FOR THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL TO SET UP A STRUCTURED DIALOGUE ON MIGRATION
Concerned by the lack of a coordinated and adequate response that is exacerbating fear, racism, and indifference among citizens in Europe, as well as by the violations of human rights experienced by migrants and refugees.
Stressing that the current “refugee and migrant crisis” will not cease in the short term and that longer term policies and a holistic approach combining different policies are needed.
CSE calls for the establishment of a structured dialogue between decision-makers and civil society organisations on the issue of migration. This should be at both national and EU level in order to develop a long term response where actors from different fields and sectors play their appropriate role.
Read more about CSE Call Structured dialogue on migration
Read more in the following links about the positions each CSE members on migration and refugees:
- Association Européenne pour la défense des Droits de l’Homme (AEDH)
- European Association for Local Democracies (ALDA)
- Culture Action Europe (CAE)
- CONCORD Europe
- European Citizens Action Service (ECAS)
- European Disability Forum (EDF)
- European Movement International (EMI)
- European Alternatives (EuroAlter)
- Young European Federalists (JEF)
- SOCIAL PLATFORM
- European Youth Forum (YFJ)
CIVIL SOCIETY EUROPE: CALL TO EU LEADERS FOR REFUGEES WELCOME
Civil Society Europe signed a call to European leaders for refugees welcome. Since human rights are central to the European project they have an obligation to make decisions about, and to put in place, a collective commitment to welcome these refugees as well as meeting legal obligations to provide asylum, which Europe once took the initiative in defining. The entire document is available on this link CSE Call to EU Leaders Refugees Welcome
CIVIL SOCIETY EUROPE: SITTING IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT FOR CHANGE
Major European Networks of Associations joined forces to create Civil Society Europe, a permanent space for horizontal exchanges and a strong voice for paradigm shift to restore and promote the values of equality, solidarity, democracy and inclusiveness among EU Member States and its people.
Read more about press launch hosted in European Parliament in this link CSE Press Lunch