EU has adopted the Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy for 2020–2024. The new Action Plan is more focused on supporting democracy than the previous Action Plans. This is in accordance with the demands of a joint statement by European democracy organisations in February.
“It is of utmost importance that the Action Plan is now strongly featured also in Member States’, such as Finland’s, international politics. Policy coherence is crucial. Strengthening and supporting democracy is the foundation of development and stability; backsliding of democracy has been witnessed widely due to Covid-19 pandemic”, states Anu Juvonen, Demo Finland’s Executive Director.
Strengthening and supporting democracy is the foundation of development and stability.Anu Juvonen
Action Plan also covers support to political parties’ multiparty co-operation and highlights their inclusivity and oversight role. Also threats and opportunities presented by new technologies challenge democracy to renew itself.
“Human rights-based work is at the core of the plan. Human rights narratives must also highlight the importance of civil and political rights. Democratic space has been shrinking globally, which also means restrictions on civil society”, Juvonen says.
Implementation of the Action Plan will be monitored by regular reporting, consultations and through European Parliament’s oversight role, with midterm review planned for 2023.