Founded by the philosopher and writer Gaspard Kœnig, the think tank GenerationLibre launches today on its website, a platform dedicated to the monitoring of freedoms suspended during the crisis of the Covid-19. This tool will allow a follow-up "real time" measures derogating from or limiting the freedoms of the French since the beginning of the pandemic. "To date, we have 35 were classified in 4 items, explain in GenerationLibre : rule of law, civil liberties, social law/labour law and economic freedoms ". Director of studies at the think tank, Vincent Delhomme has driven this project. He explains his approach to the Point.
The Point : How is born the idea of this platform for monitoring of liberties suspended during the Covid-19 ? How does it work ?
Vincent Delhomme : GenerationLibre has always had a special sensitivity for the defence of the public liberties, as evidenced by our previous fighting against the file YOUR or the entry in the common-law provisions adopted "temporarily" to deal with the terrorist threat. The State is strengthened at the option of the seizures, not always for the right reasons, and temporary measures have a tendency to settle in the long term. This is what we wanted to avoid with this health crisis. Our freedoms Observatory confined identifies all of the measures put in place to fight against the Covid-19 which constitute infringements of fundamental rights and freedoms. A weekly update allows you to track the status of these measures. Have they been aggravated or made more flexible ? Are they still in force ? With this tool, we want to ensure that all the freedoms will eventually be déconfinées. We give the State the benefit of the doubt, that he shows us that our fears are not unfounded !
How are you going to assess the necessity and proportionality of measures of suspension or limitation of the freedoms taken by the government ?
It must be remembered that GenerationLibre does not dispute the idea that certain rights and freedoms may know of restrictions in times of major crisis, or the importance of the fight against the virus. We are not scientists and do not have a vocation to mediate between the different models implemented throughout the world. However, it is actually important that the State explain to the people why such and such a measure is necessary and that it ensures that its proportionate. By carefully following the public discussion, and with the help of our specialist lawyers, including Rubin Sfadj and Daniel Borrillo that I want to say thank you, it has been relatively easy to identify the measures that are most questionable. This is the case of the automatic extension of all of the detention on remand, measure happily removed, or the continued operation of the detention centres for foreigners, unnecessary, because the eviction may not take place.
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economic freedom have the most to fear.
What freedoms are most endangered, according to you ?
There is no doubt that the restrictions on freedoms, the most egregious will be lifted, such as the prohibition on trips or gatherings. No population will not tolerate more than a few months ! We are more worried regarding aspects less visible to the state of a health emergency, such as the decrease still further the rights of Parliament or the collection of personal data of citizens. On the first pane, we anchor a little more in the idea that the parliamentary debate is a source of slowness and inefficiency. However, it is often a auxiliary important in the defence of public freedoms. It must be, in this respect, to pay tribute to the role played by the Senate since the beginning of this crisis. On the second, it is necessary to be extremely vigilant regarding the files or applications put in place, regardless of their laudable aims. In the medium and long term, these are without doubt the economic freedoms that have most to fear. The " strategy of shock ", assigned fancy way to some liberal thinkers, seems to be faithfully followed by those who advocate interventionism and protectionism increased in the context of the crisis.
The fear of the disease she will not pass the attachment to the freedoms in the second plan ?
It is to be feared. France is a country of paradox : the contestation of those in power never ceases, but the power, itself, is never questioned. During the first weeks of confinement, only a few voices questioned the extent of restrictions on the freedoms and the apathy of the counter-powers that should embody the national Assembly or the State Council. This epidemic also raised the question of our relation to the risk. Any regulation of risk involves the balancing of interests that are sometimes opposites : health and life are fundamental values, but an economy and closed schools, it is also a procession of suffering, human, social, and even physical. We had sometimes the impression that the question of the cost of containment, once again, not only economic, it was already going too far.
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France is located in the head of the pack restrictions in Europe.
How is France compared to other european countries ? We have suspended more freedom than the other ?
France is, without doubt, the head of the pack restrictions in Europe, even if it is difficult to draw up a comparison cutting between the countries. France has also been early and heavily affected by the virus, it is therefore quite logical that the measures taken have been greater than in other places. It seems, however, that the return to normal occurs more slowly than in other countries. Again, it is important that the public understands why this is the case.
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The first law passed after the containment is the act of Avia on the cyberhaine. How do you perceive this text ?
It is a law of the villain who, under the guise of the legitimate fight against hate, is a serious threat to freedom of expression in entrusting the platforms the mission to censor the content to be " manifestly unlawful ". This is a regression without precedent, adopted, moreover, at a time when all heads are turned elsewhere. Even if it is in no way linked to the current health situation, this text comes to illustrate the drift against which we try to fight : when it comes to pursue a goal to be virtuous, the freedoms go by the wayside.
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