A Free and
Democracy is a founding value of the EU. It must be respected in Europe and promoted abroad. We pledge to defend and improve our democracy, empowering citizen participation from the local to the European level. Civic engagement, public accountability, and fair and transparent decision-making processes must be enhanced at all levels. We want open and vibrant societies, where individuals have equal rights and can live free from discrimination, prejudice and sexism, and with full respect of their privacy and safety. Cultural diversity enriches Europe and its people. Diversity is part of Europe’s identity and strength; the rights of all minorities must be protected. We propose that Europe Day on 9 May become a public holiday in all Member States to celebrate peace and unity in Europe. We will fight those who preach hatred, intolerance and discrimination against others. We will defend the rule of law and human rights in all Member States and ensure that the EU has all the necessary tools to do this. We want strong measures to prevent any misuse of EU or public funds, whether this happens for private profit or to reinforce political power. We will ensure that organisations protecting citizens do not face undue pressures on their funding and their right to operate. We stand against those who put our democracy under pressure through spreading ‘fake news’, manipulating public debate, or deliberately disrupting democratic exchange. Free and independent media and civil society must be supported and allowed to play their role in democracy, and whistle-blowers must be protected. Strengthening police and judicial cooperation will boost the fight against cross-border organised crime and terrorism.