11 September 2019

Video blog by Michael O'Flaherty: human rights situation in Europe

In the latest edition of his video blog, FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty shares his view on the current human rights situation in Europe.

At the end of summer 2019, from the point of view of human rights, I find myself thinking of Europe, glass half empty, glass half full.

Half empty. while still over recent months people have drowned in the Mediterranean.

That's an outrage.

Still over the past months we have unacceptable levels of inequality, poverty, social depravation.

Over the past months also we have seen pressure on National Human Rights Bodies, Equality Bodies and Ombudsmen.

But with the glass half empty, there has also been the glass half full. This gives me signs of hope and encouragement.

I have seen for instance how resilient our European Union is.

How the European Court of Justice has rolled back against, for example, pressure on the independence of judges and of the courts.

I have seen how the European Commission has come out with impressive recommendations on strengthening the rule of law architecture of the European Union.

Above all, over the last few months I have been reminded of the role that young people can play and must play in our societies.

I have seen how we can channel for human rights what young people are doing against climate change.

They are not just our future, they are going to help us save the present as well.