Blog post

Seven days and counting: make the Forum yours!

Tue, 18 September 2018#HumanRightsMatter

In less than a week, THE human rights in the EU conversation will kick off in Vienna at the Fundamental Rights Forum 2018. It promises three days of engaging conversations about the EU’s most pressing human rights challenges.

It will address “the big questions of how we make this the fair, just and decent society that we aim towards,” says Michael O’Flaherty, Chair of the Forum, in his latest vlog.

He invites participants to “Work with us… [so that] together we’ll make the difference.”

For those attending, make the most of your time by downloading the Forum App from the Apple App Store and Google Play before arriving. Just search for ‘Eventspace’ and use the code sent to you by email.

It will be time well spent.

It will allow you to plan which sessions to attend and to connect with other participants. You can share knowledge and arrange real-life meetings to help you swap ideas on how best to protect and promote human rights.

If you are not attending, you can watch the plenary sessions live from the Forum website. And don’t forget to join the discussions online using #RightsForum18 under the six conference tracks.

At the Forum, you can network with over 600 inspirational thinkers, activists, politicians, academics, and business and faith leaders from so many different communities and backgrounds.

With many young people also at the Forum, you will hear the voices and aspirations of the next generation. By hosting their own open sessions, they will have a vital opportunity to shape future policies.

Arts exhibitions, music performances and sports activities will also bring yet another dimension to an already varied programme.

“The idea being that by bringing so many unusual groups together, they’ll spark off each other and come up with smart, new ideas to make this a better Europe,” continues O’Flaherty, “to make our Europe more welcoming within which we can all be who we are in full respect for each other.”

With so much happening, there will be many parallel sessions. But there is no prior sign up; it is first come, first served. Be open to experience a session, even if it is not your ‘first choice’!

And don’t forget arrive early to avoid queues and maximise your networking time.

Already some participants have been telling us their hopes for the Forum.

“The Forum's main take-aways should come in the form of practical steps and actions that the EU institutions and other stakeholders need to take in order to preserve, advance and monitor fundamental rights,” says the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL).

For Gerhard Ermischer of the European Landscape Forum, he hopes it will “give a boost to pro-European identity and vision and to give support and vigour to all the Citizens fighting for Democracy and Civil Rights all over Europe.

Ultimately it will be a chance to “share experiences, get new ideas and hopefully feel empowered and strengthened by the event,” he says.

(Articles posted on this blog represent the views and opinions of the authors)

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