The second issue of Activizenship has just been released ! In the continuity of the recent developments about fundamental rights and civic space in Europe, this second number focuses on the Hungarian case and the raise of the concept of Illiberal Democracy, “labelled” by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Activizenship magazine was launched as an attempt to capture current trends and transformations affecting civil society’s activities across Europe, to connect ideas and experiences about the role of civic movements and organisations in revitalising democratic and political space. Even if civil society has played a major role in many circumstances where the issues of Equality, of Solidarity, of Democracy were at stake, we witnessed over the last decade worrying trends which, left unanswered, might put a serious threat on the future of open societies, on the future of Europe as a community of values and an area of freedom, security and justice for all. Unfortunately, this trend goes hand in hand with the rise of authoritarian drifts in some of the Member States. Hungary is the most emblematic case, seemingly followed by Poland recently, in an attempt to build an “illiberal democracy”, undermining fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, mainly by limiting the independence of the judiciary, reducing media freedoms and intimidating criticism by civil society.
This new issue also tries to focus on civil society’s role in promoting common European values, as an answer to the regressive forces currently gaining strength. In both their action-oriented and advocacy-oriented capacity, they contribute to keeping our societies inclusive and democratic. When their critical role is disregarded, denied or threatened, the whole democratic space is shrinking, both at EU and national levels. The last chapter of Activizenship #2 gives the voice to activists and NGOs working on the ground on a daily basis.
This Activizenship issue features a few pages of ComicsForEquality previews. This project has been awarded Media Initiative of the Year within the last European Democratic Citizenship Awards organised by the European Civic Forum.