Democracy & Justice

Liberties' March Recap | Make the rule of law great again

A monthly round-up of Liberties' work: Rule of law report card shows democratic decline, EMFA approved by EU institutions & electoral integrity.

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 is all about our rule of law report, which reveals that, once again, the EU governments aren't respecting democratic principles. Read our key findings and trend analysis. We also give you the lowdown on the European Media Freedom Act and ask whether new EU guidelines go far enough to protect electoral integrity (hint: they don't).

In a nutshell

AI Act: The AI Act was adopted by the European Parliament.

EMFA: The European Media Freedom Act was backed by the EU Parliament with an overwhelming majority and approved by the EU Council a few days later

Privacy vs Corruption: Liberties teamed up with Transparency International and the University of Amsterdam to host a workshop ‘Balancing Privacy, Data Protection, and Corporate Transparency’

Civic Space: Liberties took part in the Fundamental Rights Forum 2024 discussing how governments need to engage and work with civil society not stigmatise and intimidate them.

Elections: Liberties signed an open letter following Meta's announcement that it would abandon CrowdTangle, the tool used by tens of thousands of journalists, watchdogs, and election observers to monitor the integrity of elections around the world.

In focus

Governments Shrug Off Democratic Oversight: EU Rule of Law Report By 37 NGOs

The rule of law in the EU continued to deteriorate in 2023, as governments further weakened legal and democratic checks and balances. Restrictions on the right to peaceful protest have increased significantly. Read more here.

In the news

Restrictions on Peaceful Protest Intensified: Trend Analysis

The right to peaceful protest was severely restricted across Europe in 2023, with many blanket bans selectively targeting pro-Palestinian and climate demonstrations. Learn more.

Court packing puts the judicial protection of citizens’ rights in danger: Trend Analysis

Fully independent and impartial justice systems are crucial to ensure that justice works to the benefit of citizens. When the political parties in power try to influence the selection of judges for political purposes, especially at the highest level, they put the effective protection of the rights of citizens in danger. Read more.

Are new EU guidelines strong enough to ensure election integrity?

The European Commission published draft guidelines for Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) and Very Large Online Search Engines (VLOSEs) designed to mitigate systemic risks their service may pose to democratic elections. Liberties and the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) reviewed these guidelines and advocate for a broader approach. Read the full article on our website.

In the news

Overwhelming Majority in European Parliament Backs Media Freedom Act

The European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) is a leap forward in building a stronger, more plural media sector across the EU. Read our summary of its key obligations.

Members' Corner

Zeitgeist: VIA IURIS has launched an English newsletter called Zeitgeist about current events in Slovakia concerning the rule of law, media, and civil sector.

Hands off my data: GFF have launched a new project Center for User Rights, to strengthen and enforce the rights of users vis-à-vis online platforms.

Class action: For months, hundreds of people have been forced to sleep on the street in front of Rome's immigration office the night before in hopes of seeking protection. In response, CILD and other associations have launched a class action.

For our members:

CERV 2024 - Guidelines for Grant Applications

What we're reading

Next Month

Liberties' Media Freedom Report Out Soon!

The European Media Freedom Act negotiations might be over but we are far from finished fighting for media freedom in the EU. We'll be releasing our annual media freedom report in the coming weeks. Watch this space!

Read last year's report to get a taster.

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Take care,

Eleanor & the Liberties Team

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