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Strong civil society organisations can promote fundamental rights in the EU

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Civil society organisations and other human rights activists play a key role in defending and promoting the EU’s values of fundamental rights, the rule of law and democracy. They are essential to the system of checks and balances, acting as watchdogs, raising awareness of threats to the rule of law, democracy and the conduct of free and fair elections, and thereby contributing to the accountability of decision-makers.

They contribute to tackling the challenges facing our democracies, including by combating discrimination, hate speech and disinformation. The active involvement and participation of civil society organisations and human resource developers will increase the effectiveness and representativeness of policy and decision-making, taking into account the diverse and divergent interests they represent and can voice them.

On 16 November 2023, the European Commission and the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union organised a conference in Brussels to identify possible ways to protect, promote and enable a thriving civic space in the EU. The conference provided a forum for debate where national authorities, representatives of European and national civil society organisations, human rights defenders, EU agencies, donors and international organisations could meet and exchange ideas on the future of European civil society.

The conference also provided an opportunity to review the European Commission’s 2022 report on the application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The conference also summarised the outcome of the follow-up seminars held earlier in 2023 and the March 2023 Council conclusions on the role of civic space in protecting and promoting fundamental rights in the EU.

The conference concludes that civil society organisations (CSOs) and other human rights defenders (HRDs) play a key role in promoting human rights and fundamental rights, the rule of law and democracy in the EU. They are the healthy watchdogs in the system of checks and balances, monitoring threats to the rule of law and democracy, including freedom of life. They monitor fair elections, thereby contributing to the possible accountability of decision-makers. Contribute to tackling the challenges facing our democracies, including by combating discrimination, hate speech and incitement to hatred.

The Commission remains committed to promoting a continuous dialogue with all relevant stakeholders, including civil society organisations, human rights defenders and national authorities at different levels, in order to build partnerships within a coordinated policy framework.

EU Briefs publie des articles provenant de diverses sources extérieures qui expriment un large éventail de points de vue. Les positions prises dans ces articles ne sont pas nécessairement celles d'EU Briefs.

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