Democracy & Justice

Liberties' February Recap | Which historic legislative leaps took place in the EU this month?

A monthly round-up of Liberties' work: DSA transparency report, new laws tackling political advertising and SLAPPs come to fruition, and Liberties trains judges in Poland.

by LibertiesEU

Welcome to Liberties' monthly round-up, where we catch you up on the most pressing human rights topics we've been working on. This month, we've been gearing up for Liberties' Rule of Law Report 2024, which will be published next month. We also took part in the EU's public consultation on the DSA's standardised reporting template, and trained judges in Poland in communication and messaging techniques. Following years of advocacy, the political advertising regulation and anti-SLAPP directive reached critical stages.

In a nutshell

Judges in Training: Israel Butler, Head of Narratives, & Valentin Toth, Head of Comms, held a workshop for IUSTITIA, Poland’s largest judges’ association, where they practiced campaigning & messaging techniques.

Liberties x LIBE Committee: What powers does the EU have to protect the values and the rule of law? Liberties’ Executive Director Balazs Denes one of the guest speaker invited to answer this question at a conference hosted by the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee.

Disable recommendations on intimate details: Liberties signed an open letter to Commissioner Breton asking him not to block a proposal that would require social media video platforms by default to disable recommender systems based on intimately profiling people

Liberties team retreat: Liberties spent three days in the Brandenburg countryside strategising for the year ahead

Social Justice Day: Liberties is one of 200 organisations that pledges to support civil society in the EU. Read the manifesto here.

In focus

DSA: Response to EU Public Consultation on Transparency Reports

Civil Liberties Union For Europe, in collaboration with the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD), participated in the EU's public consultation process on the DSA's standardised reporting template. Read our submission here.

EU shoutout: We’re delighted that Liberties & EPD’s paper on risk assessment under the DSA was mentioned in the EU Commission’s DSA guidelines on the integrity of electoral processes. Read our paper here.

Joint Civil Society Statement: Recommendations on the Implementation of the Regulation on Transparency and Targeting of Political Advertising

Earlier this week, the European Parliament voted on new regulations promoting transparency and limiting targeting to ensure the integrity of electoral processes, fair elections, and the formulation of unbiased opinions.

Led by EPD, Liberties and the Centre for Democracy & Technology Europe put together recommendations to ensure a human rights centred the implementation of the regulation. Read our joint civil society statement here.

The European Parliament finally adopted the Anti-SLAPP Directive

This month was historic for journalists, activists, and for Europe because the European Parliament finally adopted the Anti-SLAPP Directive, also known as Daphne's Law.

In 2020, Liberties joined a group of non-governmental organisations from across the EU, CASE Coalition, to support their efforts urging policymakers to act and put an end to gag lawsuits. The result of our engagement was an anti-SLAPP model law.

Four years later, we're over the moon that Daphne's Law will soon become a reality. Well done to all the members of the CASE Coalition for their unflagging focus and perseverance.

Members' Corner

Protect the protest: Ligue des Droits Humains called on Belgian MP’s to vote against a draft article that attacks the right to protest and risks criminalizing disobedience. Read more.

We respect differences: The Estonian Human Rights Centre offers a diversity label to organisations that value every employee and client, irrespective of their background. Deadline March 19th. Learn more.

Congratulations: CILD’s Rule 39 Initiative has been shortlisted for The Legal500 ESG UK awards in the Pro Bono Initiative of the year category!

Deepfakes are no joke in Romania: Apador-CH has submitted a request to Romania’s Chamber of Deputies to seek an amendment to draft legislation that would see prison sentences being handed down for the use of deepfakes, even for artistic, comic or science fiction purposes. Get the full story

What we're reading

Next Month

Liberties' Rule of Law Report 2024 drops *drum roll please* next month

Less than one month till our annual Rule of Law Report drops! Our 2024 includes 19 country reports that follow a common structure, mirroring and expanding on the priority areas and indicators identified by the European Commission for its annual rule of law monitoring cycle. Our mega report featues the contributions from a whopping thirty-seven member and partner organisations and one independent human rights expert. Excited? Us too!

What's in store? Read last year's report and thematic analysis here to get a taster.

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Take care,

Eleanor & the Liberties Team

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