07 Sep 2018

Human rights in the EU? Debatable

While the European parliament may claim that EU member states must prevent discrimination and equality, does this truly happen in practice?

Editorial Team
Jessica Sirotin NewsMavens, Europe
Human rights in the EU? Debatable - NewsMavens
Debate, Pixabay

Why this story matters:

One positive sign of an adaptive and evolving society is the ability to engage in self-reflection, criticism and debate. The editorially independent website DebatingEurope.com has been trying to facilitate this process since 2011. According to their manifesto, they seek to “encourage a genuine conversation between Europe’s citizens and the citizens they serve”. Members of the public are encouraged to submit questions which are then addressed by leading EU politicians and interested members of the public.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the UN’s passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In the EU, this has been supplemented by the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the claim that EU members will maintain a fundamental respect for human dignity, human rights, freedom, decomcracy, equality and the rule of law.

The site recently began a debate over the question: "Are Human Rights Under Threat in Your Country?" and comments varied. Many respondents expressed concern over recent measures in different member states, particularly Denmark. The commentors also raised very pertinent questions about the nature of human rights, and how far these rights should go. Does it include a right to housing? To food? Overall, the general consenus among the debaters is that in many EU states basic human rights are indeed under attack, and that talking and debating about these questions are crucial to Europe's future.

Anyone is invited to submit questions or join in the discussion at Debating Europe.

Details from the story:

  • Debating Europe is an editorially free website that encourages free and public debate.
  • Users submit questions which are then posed to EU and member state officials and then opened to a public forum.
  • Some European countries with particularly bad records in human rights are now under watch by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
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Zuzanna ZiomeckaGazeta Wyborcza, Europe
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Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
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Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
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Ada Petriczko EDITOR
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