Motion for a resolution - B8-0103/2019Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the right to peaceful protest and the proportionate use of force

11.2.2019 - (2019/2569(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Roberta Metsola on behalf of the PPE Group
Innocenzo Leontini on behalf of the ECR Group
Gérard Deprez on behalf of the ALDE Group

Procedure : 2019/2569(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the right to peaceful protest and the proportionate use of force


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the EU Treaties, and in particular Articles 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (hereinafter ‘the Charter’),

–  having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the related case-law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 January 2019 on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union[1],

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the EU is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities; whereas these values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail;

 B.   whereas the rule of law is the backbone of democracy and is one of the founding principles of the EU, operating on the basis of the presumption of mutual trust that Member States uphold respect for democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, as enshrined in the Charter and the ECHR;

C.  whereas the EU is committed to respecting freedom of expression and information, as well as freedom of assembly and association;

D.  whereas Article 11 of the ECHR and Article 12 of the Charter state that everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his or her interests;

E.  whereas Article 11 of the ECHR states that ‘no restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others’;

F.  whereas Article 11 of the ECHR also states that the freedom of assembly ‘shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the police or of the administration of the state’;

G.  whereas Article 12 of the Charter also states that ‘political parties at Union level contribute to expressing the political will of the citizens of the Union’;

H.  whereas freedom of association should be protected; whereas a vibrant civil society and pluralistic media play a vital role in promoting an open and pluralistic society and public participation in the democratic process, and in strengthening the accountability of governments;

I.  whereas freedom of assembly goes hand in hand with freedom of expression, as ensured by Article 11 of the Charter and Article 10 of the ECHR, stating that everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authorities and regardless of frontiers;

J.  whereas the exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary, as prescribed by Article 10 of the ECHR;

K.  whereas Article 52 of the Charter states that ‘any limitation on the exercise of the rights and freedoms recognised by this Charter must be provided for by law and respect the essence of those rights and freedoms’;

L.  whereas, in accordance with Article 4(2) of the TEU, the EU ‘shall respect [the Member States’] essential state functions, including ensuring the territorial integrity of the state, maintaining law and order and safeguarding national security’; whereas ‘in particular, national security remains the sole responsibility of each Member State’;

1.  Calls on the Member States to respect the rights of freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association and freedom of expression;

2.  Stresses that public debate is vital to the functioning of democratic societies;

3.  Condemns the use of violent and disproportionate interventions by state authorities during protests and peaceful demonstrations; calls on the relevant authorities to ensure a transparent, impartial, independent and effective investigation when disproportionate force has been used;

4.  Urges the Member States to refrain from using disproportionate force against peaceful demonstrators;

5.  Believes that violence against peaceful demonstrators can never be a solution in a debate or in politics;

6.  Encourages the Member States’ law enforcement officials to actively participate in training provided by the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) on ‘Public order – policing of major events’; encourages the Member States to exchange best practices in this regard;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the United Nations.


Last updated: 12 February 2019
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