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Respect for human rights, freedom, democracy, and the rule of law are the founding principles of the EU. Yet, these principles are under threat across the continent. How can we safeguard the values our democracies are built upon? And how can we stand up for people’s rights in times of crises?

Defending democracy and civic space is crucial for the future of Europe. That’s why it will be one of the key themes at the Fundamental Rights Forum 2024.  

On 11 March, human rights defenders, civil society, activists, national and EU policymakers, businesses, faith leaders and young people will unite with one goal - to spark new thinking and inspire bold action for the renewal of a human rights culture across Europe.

Participants will discuss how to protect democracy, prevent backsliding of the rule of law and ensure the independence of the judiciary.

With several major elections looming this year, another panel will focus on ensuring free and fair elections in the digital age. It will zoom in on ways to rebuild trust in electoral processes, ensure greater transparency and counter disinformation.

As no democracy can thrive without a vibrant civil society, another panel will address the critical obstacles and pressure civil society faces across the EU. It will explore how we can protect and strengthen civic space, empower human rights defenders and develop a human rights culture across our societies.

The Forum will also host roundtable discussions, inspiring talks and immersive presentations. They will grant participants the chance to meet, share experiences, and brainstorm to discover new ways of upholding our democratic values and principles.

Attendees will hear from leading human rights defenders, European institutions, international organisations, and civil society, such as the Council of Europe, the European Ombudsman, and the Youth Forum.

Former French football player and anti-racism campaigner Liliam Thuram will share his experiences of activism.

Masterclasses by the Anne Frank House and the City of Vienna will offer practical suggestion for how best to protect and promote human rights in difficult times.

Bringing together members of different generations, the ‘X meets Z’ talks will aim to find a common ground between millennials and gen Z on such topics as racism or disability rights.

Do you want to be part of the Forum?

Register now to follow the discussions online.

Vasily Merkushev ©, 2024

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