European democracy under threat, says EU Rights Agency

Around a quarter of the organisations surveyed had been confronted with attacks by hackers.

European democracy under threat, says EU Rights Agency

European democracy under threat, says eu rights agencyThe EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) believes that democracy and human rights in Europe are at risk, its boss said on Wednesday.

“Polarisation across Europe is leading to widespread intolerance and dividing societies, causing many groups to suffer,” Fundamental Rights (FRA) Director Sirpa Rautio said in Vienna.


In its annual report, the agency warned that civil society organisations were coming under increasing pressure.

In a survey of more than 200 organisations, more than 60 per cent reported threats on the internet and 40 per cent reported personal threats or attacks against employees.

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Around a quarter of the organisations surveyed had been confronted with attacks by hackers.

The FRA experts criticised the fact that the democratic scope is also becoming ever smaller because state authorities are excessively interfering with freedom of assembly and the right to express opinions.


They pointed to restrictive rules and planned legislative changes in Spain, Hungary, France, the Netherlands and Italy.

The report mentioned Germany in connection with surveillance measures, house searches and preventive detention of climate activists.


The Fundamental Rights Agency also expressed concern about economic inequality in Europe.

Around a fifth of the population in the EU is at risk of poverty, according to surveys.

The surveys also showed a large number of people are dissatisfied with how governments and EU institutions have reacted to the sharp rise in prices.


The FRA is also alarmed about the rise in anti-Semitism in connection with the terrorist attacks by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and Israel’s military response in the Gaza Strip.

The increasing intolerance throughout Europe also affects Muslims, people with roots in Africa, migrants and the Roma minority, it said.

According to a statement on its website, the European Union says democracies must be worked on and renewed every single day, and this requires citizens to be empowered to speak up. The Conference on the Future of Europe, which concluded on 9 May 2022, has empowered citizens to shape the future of our European Union. The Commission has listened, and is now focused on delivering on their proposals.