After having collected input from different actors including the EFC, the European Parliament Development Committee adopted a resolution asking the EU to step up efforts to protect shrinking civil society space in developing countries. The EFC has engaged with rapporteur Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio (EPP, ES) to stress the fact that restrictions on civil society have in a global context become more repressive and that EU efforts could be stepped up to counter this trend. Methods are increasingly sophisticated and now include restrictive legislation, taxation, limitations to funding, increased bureaucracy, defamation, online repression or censorship. The resolution now calls on:
- EU Delegations to actively raise the issue with local parliamentarians, governments and authorities
- The EU and its Member States to bring up such cases in discussions and use all instruments to ensure that partner countries uphold their commitments in guaranteeing human rights and repeal laws targeting civil society
- More positive conditions in EU budget support; more diversified and maximised EU funding means and mechanisms for civil society actors
The resolution was backed on 30 August by 22 votes to 1 with 1 abstention and the full House will vote on the resolution during the first October plenary session in Strasbourg.