Democracy & Justice

Liberties' November Recap | Online Civic Space, Privacy-Friendly Political Advertising & Protests in Germany

A monthly round-up of Liberties' work: online civic space vulnerable, more privacy-friendly political advertising, and is it safe to protest in Germany?

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. Before year-end, we’ve been tying up some loose knots. Our civic space report shows EU governments are falling behind in their responsibility to protect our fundamental rights online. And offline isn’t much better. In the wake of the Israel-Hamas conflict, human rights in the EU have come under threat - especially the right to protest. And with the final trilogue of the Media Freedom Act having commenced, we took one last shot to persuade EU lawmakers to protect independent media in Europe.

In a nutshell

Human Rights Day: 10th December 2023 is the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Happy 75th birthday to universal fundamental rights!

#EMFA final push: During the last phase of European Media Freedom Act negotiations, we signed open letters on 1) media ownership and 2) Article 5 public service media and 3) key outstanding issues

Liberties board update: Adam Bodnar resigns from Liberties’ board in order to join the Polish Senate. Many thanks to Adam and best of luck with your new opportunity!

AI: Liberties’ Tech & Rights Lead Eva Simon took part in a panel discussion 'AI and the future of EU competitiveness' organised by PromethEUs

Effective messaging: Israel Butler, Liberties Head of Narrative & Framing lead a workshop on Narrative Change, hosted by our Romanian member APADOR-CH

Liberties in Brussels: Executive Director of Liberties, Balazs Denes, spoke to the European Economic and Social Committee at their annual conference on fundamental rights and the rule of law in the EU

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In focus

The EU Must Take Action to Protect Fundamental Rights & Rights Defenders

Liberties' 'Online Civic Space Report 2023' shows that the EU and its member states have not been able to fulfil their obligation to protect and enable citizens to freely exercise their fundamental rights in the digital space. Read more.

Euractiv Op-ed - New EU media law: Ownership transparency provision needs broader scope

Read our Euractiv op-ed on what meaningful media ownership transparency obligations should look like in the European Media Freedom Act.

Is it safe to protest in Germany?

The short-term impact of the conflict between Israel and Hamas on human rights in the EU | Q&A

What are the consequences of the recent developments in the conflict between Israel and Hamas for people in the European Union from a human rights perspective? Find out in our Q&A

‘Is it safe to protest in Germany?’ Protect the Protest: Shrinking Civic Space in Germany | Democracy Drinks Berlin

Climate activists and protestors marching in solidarity with Palestine have faced unprecedented harsh responses from German police. To understand what this means for civic space, Liberties was joined by Paula Zimmermann of Amnesty International Germany. Read our recap here.

New EU Rules On Political Advertising Ensure More Transparency & Privacy, Less Foreign Interference

Earlier this month, EU lawmakers agreed on a new regulation about political advertising to make election campaigns more transparent and privacy-friendly and to limit foreign interference in the EU. Liberties has long campaigned to limit the use of sensitive data. Find out more.

Do you want to join us? Check out our vacancies.

Are you a student interested in a career in communications in the NGO sector? We are looking for a Communications & Campaigns Assistant (Intern) to join us for an internship position.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. More information here.

Member's Corner

Network news

Enforcing human rights on tech: The Irish Council for Civil Liberties has created Enforce, a new unit with the mission to course correct technology so it respects democratic values.

Free speech: The Polish Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR) has started a new partnership with European Implementation Network for their new project, ‘Protecting Freedom of Expression by Supporting the Implementation of ECtHR Judgements’ in CoE Member States.

Media freedom: GFF (Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte / Society for Civil Rights) will submit a statement contending the criminal provision forming the basis of criminal proceedings for "prohibited communication about court hearings" initiated against Arne Semsrott, Editor-in-Chief of the NGO Frag den Statt is unconstitutional.

Migration: Netherlands Committee of Jurists for Human Rights’s Immigration Law Working Group explains the conditions a humane family reunification policy must meet.

Knowledge Hub: New Courses

New In-Depth Messaging Course for Campaigners to Grow Support for Their Causes

Human Rights Day on 10th December is around the corner. This year, we’re giving activists, campaigners and everyone else working to grow public support for causes related to fundamental rights and freedoms a gift – and a powerful new tool: our new knowledge hub e-learning course, ‘Foundations of Persuasive Progressive Messaging’. Learn more.

What we're reading/listening to

Next Month

New e-learning courses: We’ll be adding a brand spanking new course to Knowledge Hub on how to use the EU’s Charter of Fundamental rights to protect fundamental rights in the EU. Learn more.

Cybersecurity for NGOs: Keep an eye out for our cybersecurity guide tailored specifically to help human rights defenders stay safe online.

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Take care,

Eleanor & the Liberties Team

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