The European Commission announced the Defence of Democracy Package as a way to promote free and fair elections, to fight disinformation, and to develop civic space and citizen participation. The initiative has raised much interest but also concerns amongst civil society actors fearing that aspects addressing interference from non-EU countries could affect civic space. Participating stakeholders are invited to discuss the content of the package to feed into the related EESC opinion.
Ajutine uurimisrühm „Põhiõigused ja õigusriigi põhimõte“ - Related Events
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The EESC FRRL Group's annual conference will provide a platform for debate of the European Commission's fourth Report on the Rule of Law (July 2023).
The purpose of the hearing was to contribute to the EESC own-initiative opinion with a deeper analysis of the issue of corruption in public procurement and its impacts, bringing attention to how challenges to the rule of law affect the internal market.
The event is part of a series of three seminars on how the EU can further develop its role to protect, empower and support civil society organisations and human rights defenders.
This seminar will explore how the EU can further enable civil society organisations and human rights defenders’ participation in policy-making processes, and how Member States can be supported in maintaining an enabling environment for civil society actors’ participation. The seminar will be co-organised with the European Commission.
Civil Society Organisations active on fundamental rights, the rule of law, and democracy are confronted with increasing difficulties, from regulatory challenges to financial constraints and concerted attacks on their work and credibility. At the hearing, the EESC intends to engage with CSOs and other relevant stakeholders to identify the main issues they face and propose ways of improving support. The hearing will feed into the opinion, which will have a particular focus on EU funding.
A Social Progress Protocol giving priority to workers’, and social rights over economic freedoms was first proposed by the European Trade Union Confederation in 2008.
This proposal was endorsed in the conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe calling for an inclusion of such a protocol in the Treaties, and also the European Parliament approved a resolution, in June 2022, calling for the incorporation of social progress in Article 9 TFEU linked to a Social Progress Protocol.
The upcoming Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU has asked the EESC for its position on such a protocol, so come shape the advice the EESC will give on a Social Progress Protocol!
Recent developments in the US and some European countries have shown that rights acquired by women are not irreversible. This particularly applies to sexual and reproductive health and rights. These questions are a matter of individual rights but also of public health, as sexual and reproductive health services are an essential part of comprehensive healthcare provision. Societal debates on the questions tend more and more towards polarisation, at the expense of women who can become deprived of their free and informed choice. The hearing will gather the view of civil society on these developments.
The EESC FRRL Group's annual conference will provide a platform for debate of the European Commission's third Report on the Rule of Law (July 2022), which for the first time entails country specific recommendations.
It will gather EESC Members, civil society representatives (including social partners), EU institutions and other stakeholders to discuss the main developments in the EU in the area of fundamental rights and the rule of law over the past year.
On the occasion of the conference, the FRRL Group will issue its second synthesis report covering the visits carried out in 2020-2021.
Over the last years, the EU founding values have been increasingly challenged, making the consensus on which they are based seem more fragile than ever. While the EU has addressed these threats by becoming more active in defence of democracy, fundamental rights, the rule of law, discourses have also risen portraying such action as political battles based on unclear or relative criteria.
Participants in the hearing will discuss how to address this phenomenon, and more generally how to better communicate fundamental rights and the rule of law to the whole population.
Participants in the hearing will discuss how fundamental rights and the rule of law are interconnected and ineffective without each other. Speakers will offer an overview of key rule of law principles and what they mean for the daily lives of the European population. They will also discuss the various factors which are used to measure a country's performance in the area. Finally, they will evoke the current trends in Slovakia, in the Visegrad Group region, and in the European Union in general.
This hearing will be an in-person meeting (no online connection) in Bratislava, Slovakia. Places are limited – should you be interested in taking part, please contact EESC-rights-Rule-Law.
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