RARE - Advocacy

Getting advocacy right

The advocacy camp in The Hague in September gave participants a chance to determine where their joint advocacy project is at. Split into teams, they had been working on the different pillars of their joint call for a "Civic Space Strategy for the EU". After a moment of recapitulation and exchange, the group departed on a three-day networking journey connecting them to different stakeholders from within the Council of Europe as well as representatives of Dutch civil society organisations, parliamentarians and government officials.

Pavlo PUSHKAR (CoE), Tigran Karapteyan (CoE), Agnieszka Szklanna (CoE), John Morijn (Netherlands Institute for Human Rights), Roelien Kamminga (VVD), Agnes Mulder (CDA), Peter van Dijk (form. Venice Commission), William Tuls (Netherlands Public Prosecution Service), Judith Sargentini (form. MEP), Patrick Penninckx (CoE), Márta Párdavi (RARE/Hungarian Helsinki Committee), Rick Lawson (Leiden University), Photo Credits: Polina Georgescu

How can civil society organisations design their advocacy efforts in a way that creates powerful synergies with the work of the Council of Europe? How can the channels and mechanisms of the Council of Europe be put to a more effective use? 

The Hague camp provided RARE participants with an opportunity for networking and in person exchange with key contacts in the Council's Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law and in the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The dialogue on human rights was opened by a message from the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović. Judith Sargentini, former Member of the European Parliament, and European Law professor Rick Lawson of Leiden University also contributed their thoughts on the timeliness of fighting for the rule of law and human rights in the European Union.

There is a lot we can do together!

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Participants Małgorzata Szuleka (PL) and Cezara Grama (RO) reflect on their take-aways from the RARE Advocacy camp in The Hague.

Another focus of the advocacy camp was on human rights advocacy in the Netherlands. There was room for peer-to-peer exchange on experiences and best practices with Dutch human rights defenders from FreePress Unlimited, Nederlands Juristen Comité voor de Mensenrechten (NJCM), Transparency International NL,The European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL) and the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights (NIHR).

Eager to learn more about the interaction between civil society and the Dutch government from an institutional perspective, the RARE delegation also welcomed members of the Dutch Parliament and representatives from different ministries as well as the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service.