The European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL) has released a handbook “How to Use EU Law to Protect Civic Space“, created in partnership with DAFNE and the EFC, providing practical guidance for CSOs to advocate and litigate using EU law to protect their rights and civic space in the EU.

The handbook seeks to offer guidance to CSOs on:

  • What EU law is and how it affects individuals and organisations;
  • When and how CSOs can challenge national provisions or measures that impact their mission, activities and operations on the basis of EU law, including the CFR;
  • Which legal avenues and resources are available for CSOs to defend their civic space within the EU law framework

The Handbook is a guide that should empower civil society groups across the European Union to make the best use possible of the resources of EU law to protect the civic space” explains Olivier de Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, in the foreword. The handbook “fills a gap. And, unfortunately, it responds to a real need. The main message is that EU law offers a number of tools that can be used more systematically, to improve the protection of fundamental rights in the EU, and to allow civil society to effectively exercise its function as a watchdog for civil liberties in the EU.”