Ewa-Kulik Bielińska, Director, Stefan Batory Foundation (Poland)
Richard Youngs, Senior Fellow, Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program, Carnegie Europe
Moderator: Jeremy Moakes, Directorate of Communications, Council of Europe
This panel discussion aims to explore the shrinking space phenomenon by drawing on the perspective of key Council of Europe bodies, such as the Venice Commission and the Commissioner for Human Rights, the experience of civil society as well as the knowledge and analysis of the academic sphere concerned with the issue. How do key institutions tasked with protecting human rights differ in their approaches to the issue? How do international political bodies like the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe or the European Parliament aim to engage with the subject? What has been the experience of civil society in countries where the problem is most visible?
Balázs Dénes, Executive Director, Civil Liberties Union for Europe
Dona Kosturanova, Executive Director, Youth Educational Forum (“the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”)
Veronika Móra, Director, Ökotárs Foundation (Hungary)
Moderator: Bálint Molnár, Deputy Executive Director, European Youth Centre Budapest, Council of Europe
This panel discussion aims to explore the responses from institutions, donors, and civil society actors to the shrinking of space for civic activism. Can the shrinking space be resisted? What can donors – both institutional and private – do to provide effective assistance to NGOs and activists who are faced with various forms of pressure? How can and should activists react to various forms of restriction? Are there replicable best practices? Is there a need for a more co-ordinated strategy from donors and civil society to successfully resist the shrinking space?