Policy debate around the vision of the European political parties
Date: 19th January 2024, h12.00 to h13.00 CEST
Register here: https://forms.gle/AHkeMVQHn1uss7q87
Democracy is the core value that EU citizens want to be defended by the European Parliament, as highlighted by a Eurobarometer survey published one year before the 2024 EU elections. In February 2023, the European Commission also presented its proposal for a Defence of Democracy Package. The initiative is a welcome step towards protecting and strengthening democracy in the EU, but the instruments used for its implementation must be carefully balanced to fully empower civil society as democratic actors.
A thriving civic space is indeed an important pillar of healthy democracies. All over Europe, civil society actors promote and protect democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, amplify the voice of citizens, and support governments and institutions to respond to people needs.
However, a series of challenges still limits the space for civil society in the EU and the opportunities to meaningfully contribute to policy making. Civil society organisations and human rights defenders continue to experience threats and attacks, legal and administrative barriers, and difficult access to funding, documents and decision makers. Trends of shrinking civic space – and calls to reverse them – have also been highlighted by the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the European Council.
In the framework of the EU election campaign Civil Society for EU, promoted by Social Platform and Civil Society Europe, this event aims to explore:
- The views of the main European political parties on the links between threats to democracy and shrinking civic space against the backdrop of next year’s European elections, in a context of increasing debate polarisation and risks of interference
- The parties’ vision on civil society’s role to preserve and contribute to European democracies, as well as actions and proposals to counter shrinking civic space and foster civil society participation
Read the programme here.