BCSDN welcomes the recent recommendations made by the Swedish Presidency Council regarding fundamental rights and civic space in the European Union. BCSDN supports the Council’s conclusions on the important role of civil society in promoting and protecting fundamental rights and freedoms and encourages all member states to adopt these recommendations.
As a network of CSOs dedicated to promoting the development of civil society in the Balkans, BCSDN recognizes the critical role that civil society plays in promoting democracy, protecting human rights, and advancing social justice. We firmly believe that CSOsare essential partners in the promotion and protection of fundamental rights and freedoms, and that the space for civic engagement and activism must be protected and expanded.
The recommendations made by the Swedish Presidency Council are in line with BCSDN’s own mission and goals. The Council’s recognition of the importance of protecting and expanding civic space, supporting the autonomy and independence of CSOs, and promoting transparency and accountability in government are all essential for a vibrant and healthy civil society. We support the Council’s call for member states to take concrete steps to ensure that civil society can operate freely and independently, including protecting the rights of human rights defenders and journalists, as well as ensuring that laws and regulations do not unduly restrict the activities of CSOs.
BCSDN is looking forward to the Swedish Presidency Council’s focus on promoting the role of civil society in the European Union, and we look forward to working with member states and other stakeholders to implement these recommendations. We encourage all member states to adopt the Council’s conclusions and to take concrete steps to protect and expand civic space in their own countries, while we urge this conclusion to be fully translated in the next Enlargement Strategy. By working together to support civil society, we can build a more democratic, just, and inclusive Europe for all.