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FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS INITIATIVE: Brev til kommissionen om Rule of Law-rapporten


Dear Mr. Didier Reynders and team,

Global Focus and Nyt Europa, representing civil society in Denmark, attended a meeting on September 22 with the Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Didier Reynders. This meeting focused on the recommendations of the European Commission's 2023 Rule of Law Report and provided a platform for input and suggestions for next year's report.

In accordance with the agreements reached during the meeting, we are now formally presenting our requests for the next year's Rule of Law report to Commissioner Didier Reynders.

We urge the Commission to actively involve civil society in the process, both prior to and following the report's publication. We pledge our commitment to contribute to the report, utilising resources from our National Human Rights Institutions and other data sources such as CIVICUS. However, our contribution can only be effective if the broader civil society is fully informed about the Commission’s work on the rule of law and has opportunities to engage with its findings.

We appreciate the Commission's invitation and openness to promote the report's recommendations. However, we note that this invitation was not extended to other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). We therefore urge the Commission to broaden its engagement by including additional civil society actors, particularly those CSOs working on the subjects targeted in the report.

Improving the rule of law in Denmark necessitates a strengthening of monitoring capacity and engagement in EU processes. In this regard, Commissioner Reynders and the Commission for Justice have a vital role to play in fostering wider involvement and engagement.

We hope that the DG Justice will take notice of the following recommendations to include in the next years’ report as was presented at the meeting 22 September

  • The legislation regarding citizenship for citizens in Denmark. Politicization of the rules regarding citizenship and lack of transparency in process and appeal opportunities. Lack of fair process for people with disabilities

  • Investigation into legislation and implementation of Service Act and Social Law. Lack of access to due process in municipal care and service provisions especially for vulnerable citizens with regards to appeal mechanism, and the functioning of the appeals board, waiting times, and the number of referrals and changes in decisions with regards to equal access to the law.

    • Read example of such cases here and here

  • Investigation into the recent negative developments in practice of legal aid in Denmark and the severe consequences for vulnerable citizens.

  • The consequences of digitalization for vulnerable and elderly citizens - an approach that particularly lacks a rights-based approach with the aim of increasing access for citizens.

    • Read examples of such cases here and here

  • Regarding a safe and vibrant civil space, there is a legislative gap regarding funding. Whereas e.g. state funded media have strict provisions regarding arms-length between donor and recipient to ensure impartiality, there is no such rule in the case of civil society funding. This creates potential of self-censorship in organizations dependent on public funding. There have been cases where organizations reports that they self-censor in fear of de-funding.

We hope that our input will be valuable in shaping the next Rule of Law report and look forward to continuing our constructive dialogue with the Commission. We trust that our collective efforts will contribute to the ongoing strengthening of the rule of law in Denmark.

On behalf of the team working on Fundamental Rights Initiative co-funded by the EU

Naghmeh Kashani


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