Who are we?
The Civil Liberties Union for Europe (Liberties) is a non-governmental organisation promoting the civil liberties of everyone in the European Union (EU). We are headquartered in Berlin and have a presence in Brussels. Liberties is built on a network of national civil liberties NGOs from across the EU. Currently, we have member organisations in Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Spain, Slovenia, the Netherlands and associated partners in Germany and Sweden. We intend to keep expanding our membership to include NGOs from all 27 EU countries.
What do we want?
Liberties, and our members, want the peoples of the EU and its member countries to live in societies where their civil liberties are protected, where they can participate freely in the democratic process and where their governments respect the rule of law. To help achieve this, Liberties works towards three goals:
First, we want the EU to respect civil liberties when it creates and implements law and policy. Second, we want the EU to step in to protect the peoples of Europe when national governments violate their international obligations to uphold civil liberties. Third, we want to increase public understanding about civil liberties so that people will recognise their importance and stand up for their rights.
How do we do it?
Liberties, together with its members, carries out advocacy, campaigning and public education activities. What does this mean in practice? We produce materials, like articles or videos, that explain what civil liberties are, and what the EU and national governments are doing to protect or harm them. We do this so that the public can keep track of current events that are difficult to understand, develop an informed opinion and take part in our work, if they wish.
We also write reports, legal opinions and policy papers to help politicians, diplomats and civil servants working at the EU and national level to put civil liberties into effect when they create, implement or enforce law and policy. Liberties also helps its member NGOs by giving them advice on EU law, helping them reach EU decision-makers, producing materials they can use in national-level campaigns, and creating and overseeing campaigns involving members in different countries at the same time. We can’t work on all civil liberties issues at the same time because we don’t have the resources. You check out the issues we focus on through our homepage. As we get more funding we can hire more staff to work on more areas of civil liberties.
Where does our funding come from?
Liberties is a young NGO, registered under German law in January 2017. We are grateful for the support of the Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE), which helped us get started. Currently, besides the Open Society Foundations, our major foundation donors include the Ford Foundation and the Oak Foundation. We are continuously looking for new sources of funding, especially from the general public, to help us grow and keep running into the future. If you care about your rights and freedoms, please consider a donation to us.
Learn more from our annual reports
Download our Annual Report 2020
Download our Report 2017-2019