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.
Organised civil society is a key player in our democracies in Europe. We need to involve it in the current recovery and reconstruction process to make sure that no one is left behind on our way towards a sustainable Europe in 2030 and beyond.
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
Emergency measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 have taken a heavy toll on Europe’s civil society. Although mostly justifiable and necessary to save lives, these measures should never offer a carte blanche to governments to turn what was initially an urgent response into the permanent demise of the rule of law. So finds a recent EESC hearing.
The EESC says threats to the rule of law and fundamental rights and the shrinking space for civil society, as described in its report based on visits to several EU countries, may be further exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis
The response to the COVID-19 crisis has had a negative impact on a number of fundamental rights. The unavoidable lockdowns have restricted our freedom of movement and cross-border travel. Freedom of association and assembly have been cut, so have privacy rights through data tracking systems. What has been put in place as a temporary measure cannot be instrumentalised to revert decades-long fights for freedoms and equality. We must get out of this crisis with our democracies – and our European Union – intact.
The son of the Maltese journalist Daphne CaruanaGalizia, who was killed in 2017 while reporting on government corruption, addressed the December plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and said that a European rule of law monitoring mechanism could help defend journalism against all forms of pressure.
The Grassroots view, the new podcast series launched by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), explores the hot topics everyone seems to be debating these days, but it does so from a civil society perspective, bringing testimonies from actors on the ground and accounts from EESC members who represent their interests in Brussels. Link to the podcast