The conference is a joint European Commission-EESC event to discuss the annual report on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, issued by the Commission in December 2021.
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.
At this hearing we will explore how the Rule of Law Conditionality Regulation, adopted last year, is taken into account in the ongoing implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
The conference is being organised by the Diversity Europe Group, in partnership with Civil Society Europe and with the support of the EESC's Civil Society Liaison Group and the Associational Life Category.
Registrations for external participants are open on this page until 2 November 2021.
To improve the implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights it is necessary to empower civil society organisations, rights defenders and justice practitioners, and strengthen people’s awareness of their rights under the Charter. CSOs and social partners are operating at grassroots levels and can help spread awareness and foster implementation. Moreover, the social partners have a special role in contributing to the implementation and defence of socio-economic fundamental rights.
For democracy to flourish, free media and civil society must be able to participate in an open debate, free from malign interference, and in an environment where facts are distinguished from fiction.
The hearing will feed into the EESC Opinion on the Democracy Action Plan which lays the ground for the adoption of measures concerning the promotion of free and fair elections (including democratic engagement beyond elections), the strengthening of media freedom, and the countering of disinformation.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) organised a public hearing on "The rule of law and its impact on economic growth" on Tuesday, 8 September 2020, from 2:30 p.m.
The event brought together a wide range of civil society organisations to discuss the economic importance of the rule of law and other fundamendal values of the EU, based on the findings and recommendations of an EESC own-initiative opinion.
In July 2019, the European Commission published a Communication entitled 'Strengthening the rule of law within the Union – A blueprint for action', which details actions on the promotion, prevention, and response aspects. The EESC, on its side, made proposals in a series of key Opinions over the past years, and has set up a transversal Group on Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law (FFRL) in 2018. The FRRL Group leads country visits and seeks to provide a forum for European CSOs to share their assessment on the state of fundamental rights, democracy and rule of law in the Member States.
The hearing will discuss the socio-economic causes of the rise of populism in suburban and rural areas.
The EESC Group on Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law will hold a public hearing with a large audience of Polish civil society stakeholders to discuss the topics of freedom of assembly and freedom of association on 5 December in Warsaw, Poland.
Report on the virtual country visit to Lithuania – 15 and 17 December 2021
This report relays the views of Lithuanian civil society on freedom of association, freedom of assembly, the rule of law.