Andris Gobiņš - In a Flash transcript

EESC and the European Democracy Action Plan
Andris Gobiņš, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee

We want an even stronger role for civil society, because only together can we make our democracy stable.

EESC and the European Democracy Action Plan

First of all, we are very happy that the Commission is touching a crucial topic, which is even more important now with the Covid crisis. Democracy is not a thing which we can say is automatic. Democracy needs our support, citizens’ support, and it needs also institutional support. And this is what we are stressing as well from the Economic and Social Committee side, that all the aspects which are included in the Action Plan, which means disinformation, free media and also the aspect of voting are important. We actually want to go further. We say we need an active participation as well for citizens as well.

Is there enough emphasis on civil society in the Action Plan?

Democracy is much more than only going to vote once in four or five years. So we demand a separate pillar in support of civil society actions, in their involvement in a regular and high-quality dialogue with decision-makers and civil society. And this might make future decisions in a better quality and in better suiting the needs of the people.

How can the Action Plan protect a free press and a vibrant civil society?

We see several countries in the EU where journalists have been even killed. So there is aggression against people speaking out, following and reporting things in civil society and in media, and this has to stop. It needs an institutional support. And this is what we are going to focus as well in our opinion, how to do it. We need concrete action from sides of the police to identify dangers. The police has to do its job, so that journalists and civil society can do theirs.


Andris Gobiņš - In a Flash - transcript