Vera Jourova, EU Vice-President for Values and Transparency, shakes hands with Sirpa Rautio, ENNHRI Chair and Director of the Finnish Human Rights Centre, during their meeting in Brussels on Monday 21 November.
30 Nov 2022

Partners in protecting fundamental rights, democracy and rule of law: ENNHRI meets European Commission Vice-President, Věra Jourová

On 21 November 2022, ENNHRI’s Chair, Sirpa Rautio, met with the European Commission’s Vice-President, Věra Jourová. They discussed further cooperation on protecting fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law, while strengthening enabling space for rights defenders in the European Union (EU).

Vice-President Jourová recognised NHRIs’ crucial role in these areas, particularly in the current challenging times, while thanking ENNHRI and its members for their useful contributions to various Commission initiatives. This included its annual rule of law report, a Directive on protecting persons who engage in public participation from manifestly unfounded or abusive court proceedings (SLAPPs), and the EU Media Freedom Act.

Recognising the need to further support the EU’s rights defenders, the Vice-President indicated the European Commission’s support to resilient and independent NHRIs in EU Member States.

ENNHRI’s Chair and the Vice-President agreed on further close cooperation. Some opportunities they identified were the EU defence of democracy package, tackling disinformation, and ensuring EU funds are spent in compliance with fundamental rights.

Explore ENNHRI’s latest report on the state of the rule of law in Europe. Read ENNHRI’s submissions on the European Commission’s SLAPP directive and on media transparency, pluralism and freedom from earlier this year.