Connecting EU seminar 2021 on 'What kind of Europe do you dream of?', panel on 'European democracy: how can we buttress press freedom in Europe against looming multiple threats?' - Lisbon, 19 November 2021
Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law
The EU is not only a common market; it is a union of common values that shape the European identity. These values are set out in the Treaty on the European Union and also include the rights, freedoms and principles laid out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights: the "indivisible, universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity; [the Union] is based on the principles of democracy and the rule of law. It places the individual at the heart of its activities, by establishing the citizenship of the Union and by creating an area of freedom, security and justice."
The Charter brings together into a single text all the personal, civic, political, economic and social rights enjoyed by people within the EU and apply to the EU institutions and Member States when they implement EU law.
The EESC is very active in the promotion of fundamental rights, the rule of law and democracy, and especially in the fight against discrimination based on race, ethnic origin, disability or gender. In 2018, it established the Group on Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law to further expand analysis of the situation across Europe and promote a constructive dialogue amongst all stakeholders.
At a conference, organised by the Diversity Europe Group of the EESC in partnership with Civil Society Europe and with the support of the EESC's Liaison Group and Associational Life Category, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and their umbrella organisations reiterated their call for an EU Civil Society Strategy and a European Statute for Associations. Appropriate follow-up to the Conference on the Future of Europe and a regular and structured dialogue with CSOs were considered key aspects to rebuilding citizens' trust in politics and strengthening European democracy.
Conference on 'Civil society organisations: Key actors for the future of Europe', organised by the Diversity Europe Group in partnership with Civil Society Europe and with the support of the EESC's Liaison Group and Associational Life Category
Conference on "Civil society perspectives on the European Rule of Law Mechanism" organised by the EESC's Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC), Brussels, 4 November 2021
Disregard for social and economic rights, restrictions placed on fundamental rights with no end date, broad emergency measures adopted in haste and allowing little scrutiny by parliaments, the judiciary, and civil society - all these contribute to the erosion of public trust in public policies, which can have serious repercussions not only for people's health but also for the health of our democracies, an EESC hearing warned
Presenting our new EESC web section!
The findings from the FRRL Group's country visits are now available in an easily searchable database format. More content to follow soon!
Statement by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
The EESC condemns in the strongest terms the attempt by Hungarian lawmakers to assimilate homosexuality with paedophilia in amendments that represent a new wave of legislative stigmatisation of LGBTIQ persons in the country.
EESC plenary debate with Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice
With billions of euros in the pipeline for recovery plans and little time to submit and review them, holding the authorities accountable for the management of funds will be pivotal in securing a recovery based on fundamental rights and the rule of law
The images of the riot at the United States Congress and of people infiltrating the Capitol Building are shocking, deplorable and a warning sign for all. The Workers' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee strongly condemns these events and declares its confidence in the democratic institutions of the United States. All measures must be taken to ensure the peaceful and swift transfer of power to the rightfully elected President of the United States.