(See also the call in French, Italian and Serbian)

On 10th December 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human rights is adopted

On that day, leaders of all States acknowledged that Human rights are universal and indivisible, that freedom of speech, of assembly, right to demonstrate, to migrate, to live in peace… and access to education, healthcare, housing, work, right to leave your country, etc. … were rights for all.

Since then, all over the world, a wide variety of Human rights defenders, civic and social movements, associations, NGOs, philanthropists… work, advocate, provide assistance and care, or services for millions of people, making the Universal Declaration of Human Rights promise an everyday reality.

At the same time, in many countries and regions of the world, during these 70 years human rights defenders had and still have to suffer from oppression and persecution. Many of them sacrificed and still are sacrificing their freedom and life because of their commitment.

70 years after, in the EU, Human rights defenders and civic activists are put on pressure

In Europe today we are witnessing how access to rights is increasingly under stress in the name of austerity, preventing civic actors from fully playing their role. Current policies limit public support only to those most in need. Thus, many people are deprived from access to basic economic, social, cultural, environmental rights.

In some countries civic organisations and movements that are taking authorities to account, disseminating information about the shortcoming of public policies or vested interests face smear campaigns accusing them of being foreign agents, threat to security… We see worrying trends of criminalising solidarity and humanitarian care for asylum seekers. Organisations and activists face intimidation through lawsuits in the name of breach to business secrecy. Restrictions to civic space take various forms, increasingly inventive, by authoritarian (or deemed liberal) governments.

It is striking to see how all rights (economic, social, political and civic rights) are put under stress in today’s Europe. A recall that rights are indivisibly progressing or attacked!

On 10th December 2018, let us show how much our civic organisations and movements add value to society!

Every day our organisations contribute decisively, in concrete terms, to bring more democracy, equality and solidarity for all.

We do so while confronted to shrinking space and resources, to raising social and inter-generational competition aimed at opposing people for their access to rights, witnessing tensions against migrants, divisions created between poor and precarious.

In both our action-oriented and advocacy-oriented capacities, we contribute to keeping our societies inclusive and therefore more democratic.

When our critical role is disregarded, denied or threatened, the whole democratic space is shrinking.

Our societies cannot hold the promise enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the EU treaties without a vibrant and recognised civil society, actively organised at all levels, able to act, addressing all needs.

That is the message we want to voice in a visible way on December 10th.

Call for action on 10 December 2018: “NO DAY WITHOUT US”

We call upon all the civic actors, organisations and movements, all citizens, that support the fight for rights and justice, equality and solidarity, liberties and democracy, that want our planet to be a better place for present and future generations, to join us in a symbolic but visible “no day without us” all across Europe.

In big cities or small communities, in your usual place of work or gathered in public spaces, in large or small groups, in front of institutions or talking to media, on line and off line…

By wearing an arm cuff, by waving posters and banners, by handing out leaflets to the people we meet or assist, taking pictures and videos and sharing them with the MEGA community.

Not stopping the work we do, but showcasing its value!

How to join?

This action day is organised within the MEGA campaign – Make Europe Great for All initiated and coordinated by the European Civic Forum.

To join this action day, please fill in this form which offers different levels of engagement and is open to your suggestions about how to act that day.

The coordination team will be in contact with you for action planning, providing visual materials and other relevant information.


First signatories:

  1. Jean-Marc Roirant, President, European Civic Forum
  2. Francesca Chiavacci, President, ARCI (Italy)
  3. Malik Salemkour, President, Ligue of Human Rights (France)
  4. Oonagh Aitken, President, Volonteurope (UK)
  5. Cristian Pirvulescu, Honorary President, Association Pro Democratia (Romania)
  6. Loes Rutten, President, AEGEE-Europe – European Students’ Forum (Europe)
  7. Karolina Dreszer, President, OFOP – National federation of Polish NGOs (Poland)
  8. Dominique Guibert, President, Association Européenne pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme (Europe)
  9. Viera Zuborova, Bratislava Policy Institute (Slovakia)
  10. Victorino Mayoral, President, Fondation CIVES (Spain)
  11. Daniela Vancic, Democracy International (Germany)
  12. Lilla Üveges, Civilizáció (Hungary)
  13. Miklos Barabás, Director, European House/Europa Haz (Hungary)
  14. Roger Casale, Founder & Secretary General, New Europeans (UK)
  15. Kristine Zonberga, Director, Civic Alliance (Latvia)
  16. Maarten De Groot, Campaign Officer, The ECI campaign (Belgium)
  17. Miodrag Nedeljkovic, Executive Director, Initiative for Development and Cooperation (Serbia)
  18. Sreten Koceski, Executive Director, Community Development Institute (Macedonia)
  19. Denis Stokkink, Director, Pour la Solidarité (Belgium)
  20. Dr. Jens Baganz, Co-Chair, We are Europe! (Germany)
  21. Julie Rosenkilde, Secretary-General, Nyt Europa (Denmark)
  22. Franz Neunteufl, Executive Director, Interessenvertretung Gemeinnütziger Organisationen (Austria)
  23. Jolana Turnerova, Executive Director, SPIRALIS (Czech Republic)
  24. Joao Labrincha, Secretary General, Citizenship Academy – Academia Cidada (Portugal)
  25. Eric Favey, President, & David Lopez, International Affairs coordinator, La Ligue de l’Enseignement (France)
  26. Lubov Panayotova, Director, European Institute Foundation (Bulgaria)
  27. Imants Breidaks, CEO, Organisation (Latvia)
  28. Goran Forbici, Director, CNVOS Center of NGOs (Slovenia)
  29. Deirdre Garvey, Chief Executive Officer, The Wheel (Ireland)
  30. Ionut Sibian, Executive Director, Civil Society Development Foundation (Romania)
  31. Gaja Brecelj, Director, Umanotera (Slovenia)
  32. Jelena Berkovic, Executive Director, GONG (Croatia)