November 2021 Session

November 2021

Protecting Citizen Rights and Democracy

Democracy has been increasingly under threat throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with authoritarian regimes growing bolder in their attacks against democracy, human rights and the freedom of speech.

Emergency measures must always be time limited, proportionate, strictly related to the health crisis and subject to regular democratic scrutiny. Freedom of movement and residence for persons in the EU must remain a cornerstone of Union citizenship. Closing borders must remain the exception and not the rule, and it should not be done in a unilateral and uncoordinated way as it was the case at the beginning of the pandemic.

How can we ensure that citizen rights and the rule of law remain enshrined and protected? In what ways can citizens engage in further democratic processes and participate in politics during periods of crisis such as pandemics?

As the Greens, we were quick to demand that parliaments, civil society organizations and citizens are returned their full democratic powers through the recovery. We believe that governments should not use the pandemic as a pretext to weaken social and labour rights. Whistle-blowers exposing wrongdoings and abuses related to the crisis must also be protected.

Film: 17 November at 00:00 CEST – 18 November at 23:59 CEST

The 8th

The 8th traces Ireland’s campaign to remove the Eighth Amendment – a constitutional ban on abortion. It shows a country’s transformation from a conservative state in thrall to the Catholic church to a more liberal secular society.

The 8th includes voices from both sides of the debate, but its primary focus is on the dynamic female leaders of the pro-choice campaign. The film follows the veteran campaigner Ailbhe Smyth and self-described glitter activist Andrea Horan as they chart a bold strategy of grassroots activism and engineer the near impossible. This dramatic story is underscored by a vivid exploration of the wrenching failures that led to this defining moment in Irish history.

An urgent narrative, a cautionary tale and a roadmap for progressive reforms in a modern era where authoritarianism is on the rise, The 8th shows a country forging a new progressive path at a time when reproductive rights are threatened around the world.

Director: Aideen Kane, Lucy Kennedy, Maeve O’Boyle
Country: Ireland
Duration: 94 min
Access: due to distribution rights, this screening is only accessible in Europe

Debate: 18 November at 19:30 CEST

Following the screening of the documentary ‘The 8th’, we hosted a debate on Thursday 18 November at 19:30 CET. Last November was dedicated to reflecting on the Rule of Law as the critical instrument that creates the framework through which our democracies happen. It is the result of the emancipatory fights of our recent history and is built through legislation that clearly defines the boundaries of what is possible or not possible. ‘The 8th’ illustrates the battle over shaping laws that rule the choices that women can make about their bodies. Questions such us how can the Rule of Law be enhanced, and how can citizens claim their rights when it is not upheld, were discussed in the event.

We were pleased to have the participation of Ailbhe Smith, Co-Director of the Together for Yes campaign; Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, Member of the European Parliament; Raphael Bossong, Researcher, Senior Associate, Stiftung Wissenschaft & Politik; Mina Jack Tolu, Freelance Strategic Communications Consultant. International Secretary of ADPD; Mar Garcia, Secretary General, European Green Party; moderated by Dr Sam Murray, Music Lecturer and EGP Amendments Committee Member.

During the event, the participants discovered a new artistic spot from Karol Radziszewski, a queer artist living in Warszawa (Poland). He works with film, photography, painting, and installations to create interdisciplinary projects related to LGBTQI+ rights and queer history. He is the founder of the Queer Archives Institute.

  • Artistic spot:
    Karol Radziszewski is a queer artist living in Warszawa (Poland). He works with film, photography, painting, and installations to create interdisciplinary projects related to LGTBIQ+ rights and queer history. He is the founder of Queer Archives Institute.
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  • Watch the artistic spot