These two words have been used million of times in October 2017. The purpose was to denounce sexual assault and harassment. The hashtag #MeToo has exploded on social media as a vehicle for women to share their stories in Europe and around the world. For perhaps the first time in history, powerful men are falling, and women are being believed. However, this also shows that there is still so much left to do in order to strengthen women’s right and how important it is to support activists who fight for civil rights.
The Silver Rose Awards are organised annually in cooperation with the S&D Group, an occasion to celebrate Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and individuals on 23rd January 2018. The Jury selected six awardees in several categories to highlight their achievements in fields such as Women’s Rights.
CSOs need to be two things to work sufficient: free and able to have a positive contribution. Hence, there needs to be an enabling environment for an effective role for CSOs. CSOs need to be independent and legal provision should aim at respecting and protecting the freedom of citizens and CSOs. The credibility of the message by CSOs depends on their independency why it should be highly respected. Moreover, the EU needs to develop a constructive cooperation with CSOs. Therefore, citizens and CSOs should be consulted during EU policy-making process. Consultations have been recognised as an essential element of policy-making in many developed and more recently emerging countries. The European Commission regularly seeks the views of citizens and stakeholders when it develops policy and legislation, what is important to improve the quality of public policy while strengthening its legitimacy. However, in the future MFF, gender equality should be more deeply prioritized and the EU should promote a more positive image of CSOs. The Silver Rose Awards are one great step but the way is not over yet. Not until words like “Me Too” are needed to rethink our daily lives.