This week SOLIDAR attended a hearing on this matter in the European Parliament. Speakers brought forward that in fear of the popular uprisings governments started to reduce the space for civil society. Violations were documented in 96 countries indicating that six out of seven people live under circumstances where their fundamental freedoms (association, assembly and speech) are under threat. These violations are not only targeted at human rights defenders, but also at civil society that contributes to transformations processes and have a large outreach among the population.
SOLIDAR, in coordination with the speakers at the hearing, calls for the European Parliament to step up its efforts and develop a new report that gives guidance to the European Commission and the External Action Service to move beyond mere diplomatic dialogues on fundamental freedoms prescribed in the EU action plan for democracy and human rights and to ensure that development, trade and investment relations between the EU and partner countries cannot be shaped without the engagement of local civil society and the protection of their fundamental rights and freedoms.