As announced in the 2022 Annual report on the EU Charter of fundamental rights, dedicated to ‘A thriving civic space for upholding fundamental rights in the EU’, the European Commission organises a three thematic seminars on safeguarding open civic space in the EU.
The seminars focus on how the EU can further develop its role to protect, empower and support civil society organisations and human rights defenders. They will be co-organised by the Commission and key partners.
The first seminar took place on 10 May 2023 and focused on protecting civil society organisations and human rights defenders in the online and offline civic space. It was organised jointly with the Swedish Council Presidency.
On 7 June 2023, the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee co-organised the second seminar on empowering civil society organisations and human rights defenders. The seminar was dedicated to civil society’s participation in democratic decision-making processes.
On 19 June 2023, the third and final seminar of the series will focus on supporting civil society organisations and human rights defenders through funding. It will be organised in cooperation with the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.
The third seminar will be dedicated to supporting civil society organisations and human rights defenders by ensuring an effective distribution of funding, and enabling access to funding regardless of the challenges they currently face.
The concept note and agenda of the third seminar are available under ‘documents’.
Around 80 participants are invited to attend in person in Brussels, including representatives from the Member States, civil society organisations from the European, national and grassroots levels, human rights defenders, as well as representatives of EU institutions and international organisations.