Today, the EESC has launched a new web section entitled
Since it was set up in 2018, the EESC FRRL Group has visited nine countries, and intends to visit all 27 EU Member States. Country visits offer the opportunity for a delegation of EESC members to listen to the views of civil society – including business representatives, trade unionists, media and legal professionals, civil society organisations – on national developments concerning fundamental rights and the rule of law. Visits also include exchanges with the country's European Commission Representation and with national authorities.
The results of the country visits are published in reports that aim to faithfully reflect the views of civil society. These reports, as well as all the information on the new web section, do not represent the views of the EESC. With this initiative, the EESC wants to encourage open and inclusive dialogue, and thus always invites national authorities to submit their observations, which are published along with the country visit report, and are also published in this new web section.
Until now, the information gathered by the FRRL Group has been published in the form of a synthesis report. The new web section will allow readers to find more specific information, by filtering the available data by theme, country, date, and type. The web section currently features information received from stakeholders in the preparation for or follow-up to country visits as well as observations by national authorities. Stakeholders will soon be able to propose to publish their contribution to the European Commission's annual report on the rule of law.
On the occasion of the launch of the web section, the EESC is publishing the country report and authorities' observations on the FRRL Group virtual visit to Denmark, which took place on 21-22 December 2020.
The FRRL Group was created in 2018 as a horizontal body within the European Economic and Social Committee, and was tasked with enhancing the contribution of organised civil society to strengthening fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law and responding to the shrinking civic space for civil society organisations. Its work is structured around an approach that covers areas that are considered particularly important and relevant to the work of the EESC: freedom of association, freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and freedom of the media, discrimination, and the rule of law as the guarantor of fundamental rights as they relate to all civil society organisations, including social partners.