On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the Covid–19 outbreak a Global Pandemic.
Throughout the year that has followed, European governments have introduced a wide range of policies in the name of Covid. These policies have often taken shape as emergency measures, interfering with rule of law and democratic principles and impacting human rights.
The enforcement of Covid–19 restrictions have disproportionally impacted marginalised communities and certain individuals in society, raising profound challenges with respect to laws of non-discrimination, the right to seek asylum, data protection and the right to an effective remedy and fair trial.
Border closures and travel restrictions have held a prominent position in governments’ agendas. The European Union’s recent proposal for a so-called ‘Digital Green Card‘ opens the door for many questions from the perspective of privacy, but also regarding free movement within the EU.
This webinar will take stock of the lessons learned from Covid–19 policies and their impacts on human rights. It will examine the current and future roles of key regional and EU actors in monitoring and upholding the protection of human rights in Europe.
Marija Pejčinović Burić, Council of Europe Secretary General, will hold the keynote speech. A panel discussion will follow bringing together a selected group of Brussels policy makers: Salla Saastamoinen, Acting Director-General, DG Justice and Consumers, European Commission, Michael O’Flaherty, Director, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Birgit Van Hout, Regional Representative for Europe, UN Human Rights Regional Office for Europe, Tineke Strik, Member of European Parliament, Group of the Greens and Christophe Poirel, Director of Human Rights of the Council of Europe.
Karel Lannoo, CEO at CEPS, will moderate the discussion.