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EU lauds role of civil society in protecting fundamental rights

BRUSSELS, Feb 27 (KUNA) -- The European Union underlined Tuesday its support for NGOs and civil society in Europe and in partner countries, praising their role in ensuring that fundamental human rights are respected.
"Civil society organisations are a voice for those who are too often not heard. They have the courage to stand up against injustices, even if sometimes with risks for themselves," said EU High Representative Fedrica Mogherini in a statement to mark World NGO Day, coinciding today.
"Marking this day is more important than ever as we are living in difficult times for NGOs and for civil society around the world, and the space for the defenders of human rights is shrinking," she said.
Mogherini noted that the EU's annual support worth EUR two billion (USD 2.4 billion), representing 73 percent of the world's support to local civil society organisations.
"The European Union will never leave human rights defenders and civil society organisations alone; it's the most invaluable partnership we can rely on to protect rights and build opportunities," she added. (end) nk.hb