Ombudsmen and human rights institutions discuss in Barcelona the impacts of populism and the regression of rights



The meeting, held at the Parliament on the 3rd and 4th of April, resumes the debate on the regression of rights launched a year ago by the Catalan Ombudsman

Among the most important speakers are the European Commissioner for Human Rights, the director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and the ombudsmen of France, Poland and the European Union

The Workshop is organized in the framework of the European chapter of the International Ombudsman Institute, chaired by the Catalan Ombudsman, Rafael Ribó

The debate will conclude with a statement defending the work against political practices considered populist and the signs of backwards steps in terms of respect for human rights

The president of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, has opened on the 3rd of April the second international seminar organized by the Catalan Ombudsman to address the human rights challenges in Europe. The meeting has brought together around forty ombudsmen from all over Europe in order to discuss and analyze the current situation of human rights in Europe and the actions that can be carried out by the ombudsmen. The workshop will end with a joint statement on the subjects covered according to the considerations that arise in the presentations and during the dialogue among all participants. 

The keynote speech, which will be given by the European Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, will focus on the negative impact that the so-called populism has in the protection of rights. In this regard, the growing electoral expectations of ultranationalist and xenophobic parties in Europe accentuate the weakening and the crisis of Western democratic political systems. The director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Michael O'Flaherty, will participate in the debate of this session. 

Previously, the opening table has seen the participation of the Spanish Ombudsman, Soledad Becerril; the President of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI), Peter Tyndal, and the Catalan Ombudsman, Rafael Ribó, who has organized the workshop within the IOI, of which he presides the European chapter.

The seminar consists of four sessions. In addition to the first, already mentioned, focused on populism, in the second and third sessions case studies will be presented by the ombudsmen of France and Poland and the European Ombudsman. The fourth session will focus on best practices and the role of the ombudsman in this context.

In April 2016 a first seminar on the situation of human rights in Europe was organized, also by the Catalan Ombudsman. The conclusions and summary of the speeches are available on the web