ECF co-organises roundtable on a protection mechanism

02 May 2024 | Events

On 18 and 19 April, ECF and an informal coalition of civil society organisations hosted by Civil Society Europe, including our members Nyt Europe, CNVOS, Batory Foundation and FDSC hosted a roundtable on a protection mechanism for human rights defenders and CSOs in Europe. The event took place in the context of the European elections and as a follow up to the European Commission’s 2022 report on the application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and was hosted by EFTA HOUSE in Brussels.  

The roundtable brought together roughly 40 civil society representatives from across Europe, including human rights defenders in exile in Europe with the aim to discuss the existing protection needs and design a potential Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and civil society organisations across Europe. The event included a public discussion with the European Commission and the Belgian EU Presidency, and members of the Council and other institutions about how they could take up the findings of the discussion as part of implementing the strategy on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The exhibition “Art of fundamental rights” was showcased throughout the event as a visual support for the debate in the frame of the chARTer project aiming to promote and reinforce the value of the EU Charter of fundamental rights. 

The findings of the workshop will be included in a report mapping existing regional mechanisms and what they offer, existing access and support from regional bodies including the FRA, and possible ways forward for protection.  

The organising coalition includes: Civil Society Europe and European Civic Forum (hosts); Amnesty International; Business & Human Rights Resource Centre; Civil Rights Defenders; European Partnership for Democracy; International Federation for Human Rights; Front Line Defenders; Liberties; and Protection International. And as associate members: European Network of National Human Rights Institutions; the European Network Against Racism and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA)-Europe.