Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 348

Posts Tagged ‘civil society’

Young civil society under threat – European Youth Parliament in Belarus being liquidated

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 30 luglio 2021

Berlin. The National Committee representing the European Youth Parliament (EYP) in Belarus has been put under liquidation by the Belarusian government. Following the developments of August 2020, civil society, including members of EYP are heavily under threat. The EYP network as one of the biggest youth-led organisations in Europe stands in full solidarity with its member organisation in Belarus. The European Youth Parliament (EYP), working under the umbrella of the Schwarzkopf Foundation (Schwarzkopf-Stiftung Junges Europa), is an organisation based on values such as democracy and pluralism and strives to empower young people across the whole continent in more than 40 countries to become active citizens and to execute their civil rights. Darya Skorokhod, the President of EYP Belarus explains: “The morning I got a message that EYP Belarus alongside with other Belarusian NGOs is being liquidated, was not a complete surprise for us. This could not come as a surprise for anyone who lives in Belarus and has been recently involved in any non-governmental activities. We do not know what to expect from the near future and how the situation develops, but we want to highlight the fact that the liquidation does not mean we will stop our activities but rather move them to the neighbouring countries. They can liquidate the NGO but not the people behind it.” The Governing Body of the EYP Network as its international board states the following: “While our volunteers and the members of the Board of our National Committee in Belarus will continue their work to the best of their abilities, we as a network are shocked by how their efforts and the efforts of EYP as a whole are blatantly undermined and put under scrutiny. We demand an end to these actions and the threats made to young Europeans who want to play an active role in the shaping of their own lives and society at large.”

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Religious Communities and Civil Society in Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 18 novembre 2018

Rome 22 13:00-14.00h, and 23 November 2018, 9 a.m Pontifical Gregorian University Piazza della Pilotta 4 A Brief Outline Religious Communities and Civil Society in Europe is a large-scale exploratory research project aimed at assessing the position of religious communities as potential or active civil society actors in Europe, and at looking into differences in their positioning on legal, historical, cultural, and behavioural grounds. The project is being undertaken by the Maecenata Institute, Berlin. The core research team consists of Dr. Rupert Graf Strachwitz, Director of the Institute, and Sarah Albrecht M.A.The seemingly vitalizing impact of religion and religiosity on civil society is a research topic that has been extensively looked into, not only in the USA, but increasingly also in a European context. Faith based charities have also been objects of scholarly work in the context of civil society theory and empirical studies. What still seems to be missing is an evaluation of the role of institutionalized religious communities, and of circumstances that facilitate or impede their status as civil society organisations. One assumption is that in a European context, legal relations between the state and various religious communities (minorities and majorities alike) play a crucial role in shaping the religious communities’ scope for action within the arena of civil society.
Five associates have kindly agreed to collaborate with us on determining details of content, reviewing papers, identifying experts, conducting interviews, and contributing to the final outcome. They are:
– Prof. Dr. Rocco d’Ambrosio (Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome),
– Prof. Dr. Paul Dekker (University of Tilburg, Netherlands),
– Dr. Anna Domaradzka (University of Warsaw, Poland),
– Prof. Dr. Johan von Essen (Ersta Sköndal University College, Sweden),
– Prof. Dr. Vassilios Makrides (University of Erfurt, Germany).
In addition, a number of other colleagues have agreed to act as advisors. With the associates, we have held workshops in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

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EU must support civil society organisations promoting European values

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 23 aprile 2018

Safeguarding democracy, freedom, the rule of law and fundamental rights in the EU Create separate budget line for civil society organisations in post-2020 budgets MEPs call for a new European Values Instrument to support civil society organisations on Thursday.Civil society organisations (CSOs) are facing difficulties in securing enough funds to develop and perform their activities independently and effectively, says the text. MEPs call on the EU to set up a funding instrument – the European Values Instrument – to promote and protect EU values, especially democracy, freedom, the rule of law and fundamental rights, within the EU budget of the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The new instrument should fund civil society organisations which are active at local and national level in promoting and protecting these values.The new instrument should be complementary to already existing European funds and should be financed with fresh money.The text was approved by 489 votes to 13, with 14 abstentions.

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EU must fund civil society organisations to safeguard EU values

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 12 aprile 2018

Civil Liberties MEPs call for a new European Values Instrument to support civil society organisations which are active at local and national level in promoting and protecting EU fundamental values.
Civil society organisations (CSOs) are facing difficulties to secure enough funds to develop and perform their activities independently and effectively, Civil Liberties MEPs say on Monday.
MEPs call on the EU to set up a funding instrument – European Values Instrument – for the promotion and protection of the EU values, especially democracy, freedom, rule of law and fundamental rights, within the EU budget of the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).The new instrument should be complementary to already existing European funds and should be financed with the fresh money.The motion for a resolution was approved by 25 votes to 5. EU provides direct funding – European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights – to CSOs operating in third countries to foster EU values, but funds for CSOs promoting EU values within the EU are very limited, particularly for CSOs operating at local and national level.Computers and the Future of Skill Demand uses a test based on the OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) to compare computers with humans. Robots seem to be better at hard skills such as mathematics and computing, while humans are much better at soft skills, such as reasoning and writing. Stuart W. Elliot, the book’s author, and Dirk Van Damme, the OECD’s Head of the Skills Beyond Schools Division, point out that new and improved AI will continue to dramatically change our lives as we’re “surrounded by computers that provide information, direct our attention and suggest choices.” If computers are better than humans at solving complicated math problems, why should students even bother to learn mathematics? Elliott and Van Damme state that while “it’s helpful for everyone to learn basic arithmetic as part of learning to reason with numbers,” the “real competence needed by people will be the critical thinking and reasoning to put all the pieces together.”
Saudi Arabia gave citizenship to a humanoid robot named Sophia. C. M. Rubin (Founder of CMRubinWorld) discusses with Elliott and Van Damme the societal disruption driven by newer technologies coming soon. Should governments be drafting legislations to deal with robots now? Elliott and Van Damme acknowledge that robots could become so “self-reflective that they’ll describe their reasoning and goals the same way humans do.” When that happens, society will “need to decide whether to treat those robots legally as having a kind of self-interest comparable to humans.” Dirk Van Damme is Head of the Innovation and Measuring Progress Division (IMEP), which covers both the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) and the Indicators of Educational Systems (INES) program, in the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills. Stuart W. Elliott is an Economist and cognitive scientist working on comparing the skills of computers and humans to understand the long-term effects of automation on work, education and the economy. He is the author of Computers and the Future of Skill Demand.

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Civil society under threat, Fundamental Rights Agency finds

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 19 gennaio 2018

In many parts of the EU, civil society is under threat, finds a new report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Given the vital role civil society plays in upholding democratic processes and in promoting human rights, decision makers need to ensure the important work of civil society is not undermined through policy and legal changes and funding cuts.
“A thriving democracy needs a healthy civil society. Unfortunately, the EU’s own civil society is facing a pattern of threats and pressures in many parts of the EU. Addressing this unacceptable situation should be a high priority for policy makers at EU and national levels,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty.The ‘Challenges facing civil society organisations working on human rights in the EU’ report explores how these challenges vary across the EU. It points to:Threats, physical and verbal attacks against activists, as well as smear campaigns;
Legal changes that negatively affect civil society, such as freedom of assembly restrictions, often a by-product of counter-terrorism laws;
Shrinking budgets and increased difficulties in getting funding;
Lack of appropriate involvement of civil society in law- and policy-making.
Member States should abide by the laws, including international standards that recommend civil society participation in policy cycles. Due attention must also be paid to ensure that new or redrafted laws and policies do not undermine the work of civil society. Civil society funding also needs to be protected. In addition, channels of dialogue between civil society and the EU need to be strengthened to ensure their concerns are heard and addressed. This includes finding ways to collect comparable and reliable data on the challenges civil society face, such as threats, intimidation and attacks. This report contains promising practices that are being used to address these challenges.

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France: A hotbed of opposition to the TTIP?

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 11 giugno 2015

Parigi torre-eiffel1In was initially expected for opposition to TTIP to come primarily from France, where public opinion is traditionally wary of trade liberalisation. But Germany has become the leading voice in opposition, while French public opinion teetered around a 50% approval rating in Novembre 2014. Attention has nevertheless been brought to the possibility that this anti-TTIP dynamic might be transmitted to neighbouring France.In this Policy paper, published in partnership with the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Elvire Fabry, senior research fellow at the Jacques Delors Institute, analyses the evolution of the French debate on TTIP since the launch of negotiations two years ago in July 2013, until its most recent developments.
1. Up until the summer of 2014, the debate has been dominated by minor parties and civil society. Defence of TTIP was done discreetly while the undecided camp, which formed the majority, has become more and more sceptical over time.
2. While the government has displayed a great deal of caution over the matter, the inclusion of a mechanism for regulating disputes between investors and states (ISDS) has since become a catalyst for cross-partisan opposition.
3. This prudence on the part of the government may not be enough to contain the opposition to TTIP as the agreement looms ever closer. With a general French malaise when it comes to globalisation and a traditional mistrust of the United States, TTIP may become a thorny issue on the road to the presidential elections in 2017. (foto: assemblee)

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