Convincing the public

While fundamental rights are a legal obligation, experience shows that their implementation requires public support. Public officials can convince the public by engaging in critical debate, anticipating opposition and working with “champions” who can advocate for fundamental rights inside and outside public administrations.

Public officials play a central role in providing correct information about fundamental rights and cultivating a fundamental rights culture by challenging stereotypes and actively promoting fundamental rights principles in public debate.

It is important to bear in mind that information is generated not only by official sources but also by critics, commentators, journalists and anyone who tweets or maintains a blog. Keeping up-to-date with the most relevant current debates can be a great source of information for a communication strategy and can help avoid sudden surprises in the form of negative publicity.

To promote fundamental rights amongst the public, it is recommended that public officials:

  • Win over sceptics and anticipate opposition
  • Identify Champions – dedicated individuals that play a central role in realising fundamental rights and can persistently advocate for fundamental rights.
  • Engage in public debate and correct misconceptions
  • Organise public campaigns to raise the profile of fundamental rights and keep them in the public eye.