The European Union strongly disagrees with the recent decisions of the Russian authorities to include the Prague Civil Society Centre and the Association of Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe on their list of “undesirable organisations”.
These organisations aim at strengthening civil society, democracy and human rights in Russia and at supporting vulnerable people. Their labelling impairs necessary and beneficial ties between our societies. It is regrettable that an NGO linked to the Council of Europe has been labelled an “undesirable organisation” by a Council of Europe Member State. We support the call by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights on the Russian authorities to reverse these decisions.
The European Union is extremely concerned by the Russian authorities’ continued attempts to shrink the space for opposition, civil society and independent voices in the country. The EU, once again, urges the Russian authorities to repeal the legislation on “undesirable organisation” and to bring Russian legislation in line with Russia’s own commitments under European and international human rights law, including the relevant Venice Commission opinions.