• Professor Sanz of CEU UCH, who holds a Jean Monnet Chair, gave her view of the current state of human rights in Europe at an international conference organized by the University of Buenos Aires

CEU UCH lecturer, Professor Susana Sanz Caballero was invited to give a lecture at the conference on human rights entitled I Congreso Internacional sobre Integración Regional & Derechos Humanos. Puntos de Convergencia. It was organized by a centre of excellence on this same issue at the University of Buenos Aires, the Centro de Excelencia Jean Monnet “Integración Regional y Derechos Humanos” and took place between 1st and 3rd June, 2021. More than 600 people from 17 countries from across the world registered for the event.

Professor Sanz Caballero took part in the first panel on “Democracy and Human Rights”, which also included other Jean Monnet Chair-holders from different countries, such as Professor Calogero Pizzolo, who organized the event in Argentina, Professor Roberto CippitaniProfessor Pablo Podadera and Professor José María Porras, Dr Andrea Mensa, from the University of Buenos Aires and Dr Joaquín Sarrión from UNED. Professor Sanz centred her lecture on the rule of law and human rights in Europe,  which is also the focus of the research group she leads at CEU, the Grupo de Investigación sobre Protección Internacional de Derechos Humanos de la CEU UCH.

Anti-democratic trends in Europe

In her lecture, Professor Sanz spoke about “the unprecedented and serious situation we are seeing in the EU, with the rollback of democratic freedoms and ever more frequent attacks on the rule of law in its member states”. The first cases of this antidemocratic trend – and also the most serious – took place in Hungary in 2010. It then quickly spread to Poland and other member states – not just in Eastern Europe or the countries who have most recently joined the EU, but also in countries which are much more established member states, such as Austria, Italy and Spain.

We’re seeing breaches of the values enshrined in article 2 of the Treaty on European Union, including the rule of law, pluralism, freedom of the press and of expression, separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary. These breaches put the future of the EU as we know it at risk. The cause of this is largely the half-hearted reactions of the European institutions to the first cases and the lack of powerful mechanisms for the EU to call on to deal with these breaches,” said Professor Sanz, who holds a Jean Monnet Chair at CEU UCH. The rise of populism, nationalism, the financial crisis and the effects of the subsequent austerity on families in 2008, and the migrant crisis of 2015, are some of the circumstances which have contributed to the current concerning situation.

The complete lecture given by Professor Susana Sanz Caballero, Jean Monnet Chair-holder at CEU UCH, at the I Congreso Internacional sobre Integración Regional & Derechos Humanos. Puntos de Convergencia, organized by the Centro de Excelencia Jean Monnet IR&DH at the University of Buenos, is available on YouTube.

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