The EESC welcomes the publication today by the European Commission of its second Report on the Rule of Law. Given the multiplication of challenges all over the EU, the Rule of Law Mechanism offered by the Report and subsequent debates is an important tool which allows all concerned actors to have a single framework of reference. This gives hope for a greater sense of joint responsibility in urgently addressing the rule of law especially independent judiciary and media freedom backsliding in Member States.
Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law
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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.
Report on the virtual visit to Denmark - 21-22 December 2020
This report relays the views of Danish civil society on freedom of association, freedom of assembly, the rule of law.
The present catalogue of good practices is a collection of numerous successful initiatives implemented by civil society organisations in Europe in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The information set out in this catalogue was brought together in the framework of the study "The response of civil society organisations to face the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent restrictive measures adopted in Europe", commissioned by the European Economic and Social Committee at the request of the Diversity Europe Group.
As the COVID-19 pandemic hits societies and economies, bringing a global and unprecedented public health and social crisis, civil society organisations (CSOs) are responding by providing frontline help and defending the rights of people across the world. At the same time, CSOs have faced themselves profound impacts that may harm their capacities to continue playing their central roles in delivering services, advocating for rights and protecting the most fragile, while safeguarding participatory democracy and civic debate in the near future.
Statement by Aurel Laurențiu Plosceanu, president of the EESC's Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship, Stefano Palmieri, president of the EESC's Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion and Cristian Pîrvulescu, president of the EESC Group on Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law
This study aims to set a framework for the legal recognition of the Rights of Nature in the EU legal order, as a prerequisite for a different and improved relationship between human beings and Nature. This aim should be possibly accomplished through the development of a EU Charter on Fundamental Rights of Nature.
The Group on Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law (FRRL) was set up in 2018 as a horizontal body within the EESC, and was tasked with enhancing the contribution of organised civil society in strengthening fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law and responding to the shrinking civic space for civil society organisations.
The End of Mandate Report summarises the main activities led by the FRRL Group between 2018 and 2020.
This publication is the executive summary of the study "Finding a new consensus on European civil society values and their evaluation".
Do civil society organisations in France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Hungary, and Poland share a common understanding of the values of democracy, the rule of law, and solidarity? This research shows that CSOs tend to converge in their definitions of these values, even if they display more diverse interpretations of solidarity than of democracy and the rule of law. It also reveals that CSOs recognise the crucial role that the civil sector plays in promoting these values.