EDN

We build an international network of activists
to defend freedom, democracy and fundamental rights

European Democracy Network group picture
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About the project

As transnational partnership we initiated the European Democracy Network (EDN)
to support, empower and connect activists who stand against the erosion of democracy
and fundamental rights, and advocate for legal, political, social or climate justice.
We believe that we can only encounter the shrinking of civic space in transnational solidarity and across issues.

Icon of democracy

Democracy

Democracy and its underlying fundamental rights are in decline in Europe. More and more right-wing populist parties and leaders are taking over governments and dismantling the democratic constitutional state – even in the so-called consolidated democracies. In this context, we believe it is necessary to support activists and initiatives who are under threat.

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Activism

We are connecting and supporting a dozen of activists, from the partner countries of the project (Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary and Poland) and from outside the partnership (Slovakia, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine). We all stand in solidarity for social justice, human rights and environmental protection, against the rise of nationalism and white supremacy.

Icon of empowerment

Empowerment

The core activities of the project are workshops and trainings responding to the needs of the EDN activists where they learn from each other, develop their skills and abilities in areas such as Community Management, Public Speaking, Critical Whiteness, Digital Security, Online Communication, Stress Management and Resilience.

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Network

The EDN activists meet regularly in each of the six partner countries of the project. During 2,5 days meetings and training sessions, they learn various competences in skills empowering their activism. Every time they meet and exchange with other local or international activists, European public and the media to build connections and share experiences.

Network Activities

"This Changes Everything" by Pneuma Szöv

“This Changes Everything”

Hungarian Mari and East-German refugee Marie, two young journalists, are time travelling from 1989 to 2019 to host an interactive conversation with performative elements around shrinking civic spaces and civic actors’ legitimacy and freedom. This performance by Pneuma Szöv was organised by the network in the context of the 17th International MitOst Festival.

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campaign center of the opposition coalition in the 8th district of Budapest.

Local elections in Hungary

One week before the elections in Budapest, the EDN activists went to visit the campaign center of the opposition coalition in the 8th district of Budapest. János Pálinkás, one of the EDN activists and active member of this opposition campaign told us who are the coalition parties and stories of intimidation from the Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz local government to silence local opposition.

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Shrinking civic space: Aurora

Aurora is a center for the independent civil and cultural scene in Budapest, a safe space where human and social rights initiatives and activists from marginalized communities meet and organise. The Fidesz government has been trying to shut them down. Meet up with Ádám Schöneberger.

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Post-truth illiberal governance

The use of combination of ideologies and manipulating techniques led to the illiberal outbreak in Hungary which the governing politicians and the dependent/state-owned media use to conduct severe personal and organizational attacks on Hungarian NGOs, being labeled as “Soros Army”. Keynote with Péter Krekó, Political Capital.

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Roma Community in Hungary

As the largest minority group in Hungary, Roma people face pervasive discrimination in Hungarian society. Keynote with Angyalka Kulcsar, Management Assistant and Litigant Care Specialist at European Roma Rights Centre.

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Empowerment Meeting in Budapest

Community organising; mobile video; Roma Community, media propaganda and shrinking of civic spaces in Hungary – the third meeting of EDN activists was full of intensive training sessions, inspiring keynotes, city civic sightseeing, artistic vibes and networking opportunities.

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Transnational Inspirations Dinner

Over 50 international guests, representing over 30 different organizations and activists movements, came together to exchange best practices and ideas to create social and political change.

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Slide from a presentation on Radical Politeness

Radical Politeness against hate

In a session on right-wing populism in Germany, Paulina Fröhlich from Progressive Zentrum and Kleiner Fünf presented Radical Politeness, a strategy of conscious handling with right-wing populism, to counteract hate and exclusion actively.

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Living Transnational Solidarity - group picture from the action

Living Transnational Solidarity

White Privileges, Digital Security, Positive Psychology, Right-wing Populism and Shrinking Civic Space in Germany – the activists of the European Democracy Network project took part in various training sessions during our Networking Meeting in Berlin end of June.

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Activist painting text on a banner

Being an opposition activist

Stories of street actions, violence, intimidation and threats… How is the populist right-wing and national-conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party ruling Poland and how does it affect street opposition? Polish activists tell how the PiS politics is eroding the democratic standards and values in Poland.

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Flashmob #Act4Democracy - picture from the performance

Flashmob #Act4Democracy

First spontaneous action of the group of activists: A flashmob at an event gathering polish candidates at the election of the European Parliament, starting a public hearing campaign of many civil society actors as our Polish partner Obywatele RP.

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Shrinking of civic space in Europe - image from the meeting in Warsaw

Shrinking of civic space in Europe

Citizens For Europe, Obywatele RP and European Alternatives co-organised an open space gathering different activist groups both from Poland and across Europe. The participants of the event shared about their activism and the situation in their country and exchanged on how they can work together with other European activists to fight the shrinking of civic space in Europe.

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Klementyna Suchanow - Polish author and political activist speaking

The network of neo-conservative movements in Europe

Klementyna Suchanow, Polish author and political activist, presents the neo-conservative movements and the backlash on human rights it brings. She highlights the so called Agenda Europe which mostly focuses on anti-abortion, anti-lgbt, anti-contraceptives, no divorce and anti-democracy.

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Together in Warsaw - group picture from the meeting

Together for Democracy

The selected activists met for the first time in the capital of Poland. They exchanged about their experiences as activists in their respective country. They also had the opportunity to do their first spontaneous common action, to get informed on right-wing populism in Europe and to meet Polish street activists fighting for democracy.

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Kick off meeting in Berlin - group picture

Kick-Off European Democracy Network

The kick-off of the project European Democracy Network (EDN) brought together the representatives of the 7 partner organisations from Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Hungary, Poland and Germany. During two days, we co-designed the project objectives, activities and timeline.

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Meet the current EDN activists (1st Generation)

Aktham Abulhusn

Aktham Abulhusn

Aktham took part in the uprising in Syria on March 2011, and came to Berlin in 2015 where he now works as a volunteer for Start with a Friend e.V., a non-profit organization that promotes active participation of newcomers in life of their new communities.


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Alper Sagban

Alper Sagban

Alper is a member of the Kandel gegen Rechts (KgR) group. Together with other activists, he coordinates protests and rallies to oppose the right-wing populism in their town of Kandel.


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Asuman Kırlangıç-Joumarin

Asuman Kırlangıç-Joumarin

Asuman is a member of the community Academics for Peace that works with persecuted academics from Turkey. In 2017 Asuman and other members of the community founded Off-University, an online university promoting emancipatory forms of learning through classes taught by persecuted scholars.


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Charlotte Métayer

Charlotte Métayer

Charlotte is the coordinator of the International Centre of Popular Culture (CICP), a centre based in Paris, France, housing 80 associations of international solidarity and supporting civil society movements with resources.


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Igor Isajew

Igor Isajew

Igor is a Ukrainian journalist in Warsaw. After the right-wing government took over the public media, he lost his job at The Polish Public Radio. He is now the editor-in-chief of the portal PROstir.pl founded by Ukrainians living in Poland and he is active in the civic movement Obywatele RP.


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Iwona Wyszogrodzka

Iwona Wyszogrodzka

Iwona is a member of Obywatele RP and The Polish Women’s Strike. Both organisations are non-violent movements and have an ambition not only to be against, to protest, and to provide evidence for the violence of the nondemocratic system in Poland, but also to change it by proposing alternative, pro-democratic and pro-choice solutions.


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János Pálinkás

János Pálinkás

János is active in C8 – a democratic community that supports the collaboration of active citizens in the 8th district of the Hungarian capital. Together with other activists, János also founded another civic initiative called Beteg voltam, és meglátogattatok (I was sick, and you visited me).


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Jonathan Munk Nielsen

Jonathan Munk Nielsen

Jonathan is a chair of the board at the solidarity organisation Global Aktion and he is currently involved in struggles related to Climate Justice, natural resources and political ecology. He is particularly interested in the political economy of food systems and the mobilization of small-scale food producers.


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Júlia Konkoly-Thege

Júlia Konkoly-Thege

Júlia founded the local group The City is for All – Pécs whose members are homeless and formerly homeless people, and people living in housing poverty along with their allies who all work together for a more egalitarian and fair society. She is also organizing a progressive green-activist group called Green Youth Association in Pécs.


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Kristýna Kyánková

Kristýna Kyánková

Kristýna is a coordinator of volunteers and of the School of Sustainability at Hnutí DUHA – Friends of the Earth Czech Republic. The organisation focuses on environmental issues and civic engagement. Kristýna coordinates over 800 of volunteers and help them participate in various activivities of their organisation.


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Miroslav Ragač

Miroslav Ragač

Miroslav is a community organizer at the Center for Community Organizing (CCO) in Banska Bystrica in Slovakia. The NGO is supporting citizens initiatives, providing trainings and organizing consultations with citizens, elected officials and local municipalities representatives in the field of active citizenship.


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Samia Hathroubi

Samia Hathroubi

Samia is a speaker, organizer, former director of the youth led organisation Coexister in France. She is currently working for the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and the German Marshall Fund on a Transatlantic Tour to meet, interview and promote the initiatives of activists, community and religious leaders working for pluralistic societies.


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Partner organisations

The European Democracy Network (EDN) is coordinated by Citizens For Europe gUG. Its activities are co-designed and implemented by the activists themselves and the project partners from Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary and Poland.

Citizens For Europe

Citizens For Europe (CFE) is a civil society organization and social business based in Berlin. We work on the local level across Europe changing political and social structures to foster a more inclusive, democratic and participatory society.

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Obywatele RP

Obywatele RP practices non-violent civil disobedience to oppose the actions of the Polish government led by the nationalistic and xenophobic Law and Justice (PiS) party and to defend democracy, freedom of assembly, as well as equal civil and minority rights.

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Nesehnutí

Nesehnutí is an independent social and ecological movement created 20 years ago in Brno. The organisation designs educational bottom-up programmes, awareness campaigns and political actions.

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Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ)

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ) is a human rights watchdog organisation. Its lawyers provide free legal aid assistance for activists and citizens to defend their basic rights “against the undue interference by those in position of public power”.

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VoxPublic

VoxPublic is a French organisation that empowers civil society actors to challenge public authorities in order to reduce social injustices, discriminations and to fight corruption. To increase the mobilization around these issues, VoxPublic supports social activists in their web and public communication, to lead lobbying actions toward decision-makers.

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MitOst e.V.

MitOst e.V. is an international network of around 1,400 members in 45 countries and 10 alumni groups. Their cooperation programmes and international projects mostly focus on social cohesion, sustainable urban and rural development, active citizenship and cultural exchanges all over the world.

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Citizens for Europe.eu (CFEU)

CFEU is a co-founder of the EDN project. Founded in 2010 by the Swiss foundation Charles Léopold Mayer pour le Progrès de l’homme, CFEU is a community of more than 500 civil society organisations aiming at creating a more participatory and democratic Europe.

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