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State of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe

State of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe (2015)

Report by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe

REF. 044715GBR
Type of document : Report
Format : PDF
Size : 2.74 MB
Language : English
Number of pages : 87

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State of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe

State of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe

Democratic security is an old idea, based on the argument that democracies rarely, if ever, go to war with each other. Democratic practices equally protect states from internal strife. Democratic security is a responsibility which all nations share.

This second annual report on the state of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe assesses the capacities of the member states to guarantee and enhance democratic security within their borders and, collectively, across the continent. It measures the extent to which the Council of Europe’s 47 member states are able to make the five pillars of democratic security a reality, namely: an efficient and independent judiciary, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, the functioning of democratic institutions, and inclusive society and democratic citizenship. The report also draws on the Council of Europe’s capacity to monitor and evaluate performance in terms of democracy, human rights and rule of law and to identify remedies for shortcomings and provide assistance in their implementation.

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Democratic security is an old idea, based on the argument that democracies rarely, if ever, go to war with each other. Democratic practices equally protect states from internal strife. Democratic security is a responsibility which all nations share.

This second annual report on the state of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe assesses the capacities of the member states to guarantee and enhance democratic security within their borders and, collectively, across the continent. It measures the extent to which the Council of Europe’s 47 member states are able to make the five pillars of democratic security a reality, namely: an efficient and independent judiciary, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, the functioning of democratic institutions, and inclusive society and democratic citizenship. The report also draws on the Council of Europe’s capacity to monitor and evaluate performance in terms of democracy, human rights and rule of law and to identify remedies for shortcomings and provide assistance in their implementation.

CONTENTS

FOREWORD
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
CHAPTER I – EFFICIENT AND INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY
          Introduction
          Legality and legal certainty
          Judicial independence
          Legal aid
          Efficiency
          Enforcement
          Lawyer professionalism
CHAPTER II – FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
          Introduction
          Safety of journalists and others performing public watchdog functions
          Protection from arbitrary application of the law
          Media independence
          Media pluralism and diversity
          Protection of freedom of expression on the Internet
CHAPTER III – FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY AND FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION
          Introduction
          Legal guarantees and favourable implementation of the law
          Proper conduct of authorities during public events
          Enabling civil society
          Ensuring legal guarantee for NGO foundation and existence
CHAPTER IV – FUNCTIONING OF DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS
          Introduction
          Free and fair elections
          The role of the opposition
          Separation of powers
          Vertical distribution of powers
          Good governance
CHAPTER V – INCLUSIVE SOCIETIES AND DEMOCRATIC CITIZENSHIP
          Introduction
          Legal protection of social rights
          Effective social rights enforcement
          Quality of anti-discrimination measures
          Integration policies: standards and mechanisms
          Access to rights for young people
          Education for democratic citizenship

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