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More authority for the Agency for Fundamental Rights

The Vienna-based Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has been established to analyse and study the observance of human rights in the EU. The Agency is not authorised to take actions in individual cases but regularly publishes reports and analyses of selected human rights issues.

Since its creation, the legal environment, in which the body operates, has changed significantly. With the Charter of Fundamental Rights entering into force and the three-pillar structure having been abolished, the authority granted to the Agency should be extended to include the issues of police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters.  This, in the NGOs’ opinion, calls for an amendment to the FRA Annual Activity Report, allowing for improved effectiveness of the Agency’s actions.

The organisations share the opinion of the European Commission that an extension of the FRA powers does not require an amendment to the Regulation establishing the Agency. With the current peak development of policy legislation in the field of criminal justice and police policy, it is necessary to expand the Agency’s scope of authority onto these areas.

The letter has been signed by The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Hungarian Helsinki Committee, European Network on Independent Living, Human Rights Monitoring Institute (Lithuania), Estonian Institute for Human Rights (Estonia), Campaign Against Homophobia, Polish Society of Anti-Discrimination Law, European Network Against Racism ENAR, Dutch Helsinki Committee and the International Federation for Human Rights FIDH.

The letter was drafted as part of the programme Europe of Human Rights.

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