More than 40 ombudsmen from all over Europe participated at the symposium on the impact of populism on human rights, organised on April 3-4 in Barcelona by the Catalan Ombudsman Rafel Ribó, the IOI Europe’s Regional President. In his key note speech the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe Nils Muižnieks assessed that the last year was marked by the surge of populism while emphasising the vital role that ombudsmen’s institution might have in protection of citizens against arbitrariness.

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On the fringes of the Equinet board meeting in Warsaw on 16 March, Equinet board members and staff met with key actors in the field of equality in Poland, including the Commissioner for Human Rights Adam Bodnar, the Plenipotentiary for Civil Society and Equal Treatment and representatives of civil society.

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The second Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights is taking place on 17-18 November 2016 in Brussels, with a focus on media pluralism and democracy. First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, President of the Court of Justice of the European Union Koen Lenaerts, Slovakian Minister of Culture Marek Maďarič and Vice-President of the European Parliament Ulrike Lunacek opened the first day of the event, which introduced disscussions with a wide range of experts on the key role in democratic societies of a free and pluralist media, in particular digital media.

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