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Protecting assembly

Protecting freedom of peaceful assembly. A political participation tool also during COVID19

As the COVID-19 virus spread across Europe, in most EU countries national authorities restricted the public space and limited the possibility for gatherings of people. How to maintain people’s right to protest while also safeguarding the rights to life and health has been a great democratic challenge that has caught most unprepared on how to tackle it.

The right to peaceful assembly enables people to participate collectively in shaping their societies in a powerful yet peaceful way. The exercise of this right allows people to express discontent and contestation peacefully and can contribute to the recognition of a wide range of fundamental rights, including the socio-economic rights, as well as the respect of the rule of law. Freedom of assembly and the right to protest gain special importance at times when far-reaching decisions are taken impacting people’s livelihood, as during the current health emergency. Additionally, freedom of assembly is especially important to give visibility to matters of general interest in contexts where dialogue between authorities and civil society is not structured or challenged.

This event, structured on two different days, wants to spark a debate on the current state of the right to peaceful assembly. The first day will provide a space for civil society from across Europe to share theirchallenges and success stories, in order to learn from one another strategies to defend and protect the right to protest. The second day will be an opportunity to discuss and share with high-level representatives of EU the right of peaceful assemblyduring the COVID-19 pandemic within the EU rule of law framework. 

  • Civil society exchangeTowards a European strategy to protect the right to protest from the grassroots up [THIS SESSION IS ALREADY CLOSED FOR REGISTRATION]
  • Policy debate: European venues to protect the right to peaceful assembly in the context of the rule of law framework [Thursday 3 December 2020 / 06:00 - 07:30 p.m.]
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