20 years after – a Euro-Mediterranean civil society: a dream turned into reality?

Press Release

Brussels, Friday 20 October 2017

Leading Human Rights NGO of the Euro-Mediterranean region, EuroMed Rights is celebrating today its 20 years anniversary

The celebrations will begin with a video message from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini followed by two debates on the state of play of civil society in the region and how impactful EuroMed Right’s work has been in connecting the two shores of the Mediterranean.

The sessions will feature EuroMed Rights’ President, Michel Tubiana, former EuroMed Rights’ President, also former Minister in charge of civil society in Tunisia, Kamel Jendoubi, the Secretary General of the Human Rights Association (IHD) in Turkey, Osman İşçi, the President of the Democratic Association of Moroccan Women (ADFM) and EuroMed Rights’ vice-president, Nabia Haddouche, the Executive Director of EuroMed Rights, Marc Schade-Poulsen together with some representatives of EU institutions.

Commenting on the event, President Michel Tubiana said:

On this key date for EuroMed Rights, we call on the EU and its Member States to scale up their support to independent civil society organisations in the Southern Mediterranean countries as they play a pivotal role in peace and institution-building. The best answer against instability and terrorism is always more democracy and participation.

Created in 1997 by human rights defenders from both sides of the Mediterranean in response to the Barcelona Declaration and the establishment of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, EuroMed Rights –formerly known as the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) –has developed a network of more than 80 human rights organisations in 30 countries.

For the last 20 years, the network has been working to improve the rights of migrants and asylum seekers, to promote justice and the rule of law, to defend economic and social rights as much as civil and political liberties, to enhance gender equality and women’s rights, to protect human rights defenders, to empower civil society organisations and much more.

Today in 2017, many human rights defenders are being harassed and intimidated; the space for civil society is dramatically shrinking, and the EU, its Member States and the UN should stand on their side and take a firmer stance against increasing human rights violations in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Scroll through 20 years of EuroMed Rights’ history