Democracy is the “only way” to protect freedom and ensure security in Europe

Article by the Council of Europe’s Director General of Democracy, Snežana Samardžić-Marković

Judging from the headlines, Europe appears to be lurching from one crisis to another: economic, geopolitical, technological, military. The gut reaction of many politicians is to build more walls around, and within, “fortress Europe” and give greater powers to the security services.
But that is not the whole answer. We must avoid knee-jerk reactions. Walls create division and conflict. And we have seen a few examples of what the secret services can do beneath the cloak of “national security”: from mass surveillance, to extraordinary renditions, extra judicial executions and torture of “suspects” imprisoned without charge. ...

Article publié sur le site web NEWEUROPE.


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World Forum for Democracy 2015 - Freedom vs control: For a democratic response

18-20 November, Strasbourg

The fourth edition of the Forum will deal with questions such as how to maintain a balance between security and freedom in a democratic society under threat; can democracies resist the escalation of fear and formulate responses based on civic responsibility and active citizenship; can they deal with security risks without jeopardising individual rights and freedoms? The Forum is organised around three main themes and 19 labs.
Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland and the Secretary of State for European Affairs of France, Harlem Désir, will participate in the opening on Wednesday 18 November.
Over 1500 participants are expected. Several satellite events are taking place in universities across Europe.

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