Fundamental Rights Platform - Info

1.   FRA HIGHLIGHTS

a)   Persistent antisemitism data collection gaps limit progress

b)   Call to action: Bring children together for diversity

2.   WHAT’S COMING UP

a)   FRA-Council of Europe continue to strengthen ties

b)   Director exchanges views on fundamental rights with MEPs

c)   Women’s rights under the spotlight at annual Fundamental Rights Colloquium

d)   FRA and European Ombudsman keep abreast of each other’s work

e)   International conference looks at data collection and research on violence against women

f)    How to promote the civic and political rights of migrants

g)   Conference looks at security, democracy and cities

h)   Forum explores converging economies, diverging societies

i)     Giving an overview on surveillance oversight

j)    Business and human rights – Italian experience in a global context

3.   PAST ACTIVITIES
a) How to address online hatred explored during Web summit 2017
b) Strengthening cooperation in Finland on FRA’s Fundamental Rights Survey
c)  Council of Europe expert group looks at European immigration detention rules
d) Addressing the challenges Roma women face
e) Applying the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the EU
f)  FRA trains Schengen evaluators on return issues
g) Meeting fundamental rights obligations in using EU Structural Funds

1. WHAT’S COMING UP

a.    Persistent antisemitism data collection gaps limit progress

The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights’ continues to point to the problems of limited data in its latest annual overview of antisemitism data from across the EU, as it remembers the wave of violent anti-Jewish events of Kristallnacht on 9 November 1938. Without such data, efforts to combat antisemitism will remain general and untargeted.

b.      Call to action: Bring children together for diversity

On the 10th anniversary of the landmark judgment of the European Court of Human Rights on the segregation of Roma children in education, equality and human rights organizations call for a redoubling of efforts to bring children together in the spirit of Europe’s commitment to dignity, equality and human rights.

2. WHAT’S COMING UP

a.    FRA-Council of Europe continue to strengthen ties

The FRA Director, Michael O’Flaherty, will visit the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 14 November. While there he will meet the Commissioner for Human Rights, the President of the European Court of Human Rights and address the Rapporteur Group on External Relations of the Committee of Ministers. He will also explore meet representatives from the Directorates General for Democracy and fro Human Rights and the rule of law. During these meetings, the FRA delegation will discuss continued cooperation between FRA and the Council of Europe (Contact: Mario Oetheimer).

b.    Director exchanges views on fundamental rights with MEPs

The Agency’s Director Michael O’Flaherty will exchange views on fundamental rights with MEPs of the European Parliament Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) on 15 November in Strasbourg. Following the invitation by Nathalie Griesbek MEP, the ALDE LIBE Coordinator, the Director will discuss the role and powers of FRA and respect for fundamental rights in Europe. He will also cover issues such as migration and asylum, child rights, as well as the interplay between security and fundamental rights. (Contact: Massimo Toschi)

c.    Women’s rights under the spotlight at annual Fundamental Rights Colloquium

The Agency will publish a paper on gender discrimination and violence against women during the 2017 edition of the European Commission’s Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights. The Colloquium will take place in Brussels from 20 to 21 November. This year the focus is on women's rights in turbulent times. Discussions will cover such issues as hatred towards women in society and rights violations; empowering women to aid gender equality; violence against women and links to other forms of violence in society; and gender stereotypes, culture, and attitudes. (Contact: Katerina Vyzvaldova)

d.   FRA and European Ombudsman keep abreast of each other’s work

The FRA Director will meet the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, on 15 November in Strasbourg. It will be an opportunity to get an update on the work of each other’s institution and exchange views on general developments in the fundamental rights landscape across the EU.

e.    International conference looks at data collection and research on violence against women

The Agency will present its work on gender-based violence at an International Conference on Data Collection and Research on Violence against Women and Domestic Violence: Precondition for Efficient Policy Making organised by the Czech government on 14 November in Prague. The aim of the conference is to bring together policy makers, researches, NGOs representatives and other experts on gender-based violence against women to facilitate the exchange and sharing of knowledge and examples of good practices in the field of research and data collection. FRA will also provide input to a workshop the following day on data collection targeting national and international stakeholders. (Contact: Ursula Till-Tentschert)

f.     How to promote the civic and political rights of migrants

How to promote civic and political participation of migrants and their descendants in the EU will feature during a roundtable expert meeting on civic and political rights of migrants. The Agency will present findings from its report on migrant integration that emphasises the need to strengthen policies promoting the societal, economic, civic and political participation of migrants and their descendants fostering a more inclusive, diverse and stronger European society. The meeting is being organised by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). It will take place in Brussels from 14 to 15 November. (Contact: Miltos Pavlou)

g.   Conference looks at security, democracy and cities

The Agency will run a workshop on discriminatory violence during the European Forum for Urban Security 6th international conference in Barcelona from 15 to 17 November. This year the theme is Security, Democracy and Cities: Co-producing Urban Security Policies. FRA will also address the plenary during the concluding session of the conference. (Contact: Niraj Nathwani)

h.   Forum explores converging economies, diverging societies

From 14 to 15 November, the Agency will take part in Eurofound’s Foundation Forum 2017 in Dublin from 14 to 15 November. This high-level event will explore the theme of ‘Converging economies, diverging societies? Upward convergence in the EU’. It will examine the issues associated with social convergence between Member States as a unifying common goal of the EU. The Foundation Forum takes place every four years to provide a setting for debate, bringing together representatives from national governments, social partners and EU institutions, alongside experts drawn from across the EU and beyond. (Contact: Ioannis Dimitrakopoulos)

i.     Giving an overview on surveillance oversight

The Agency will present the findings from its report on surveillance by intelligence services during a workshop in Grenoble on 14 November on oversight. The workshop is being organised by the Data Institute of the University Grenoble-Alpes. It will speak during the panel discussing surveillance controls. (Contact: Antonio Gutierrez Cardenete)

j.     Business and human rights – Italian experience in a global context

The Agency will present its 2017 Opinion on access to remedy and business and human rights at a public event in Rome on 20 November. The event was initiated by FRA’s National Liaison Officer from Italy, Fabrizio Petri, President of the inter-ministerial committee on human rights. It will include five speakers, bringing together the perspectives from government, civil society, and practising lawyers. (Contact: Jonas Grimheden)

3. PAST ACTIVITIES

a.    How to address online hatred explored during Web summit 2017

The Head of the Agency’s Fundamental Rights Promotion Department spoke of the need to develop an action plan against online hatred during this year’s Web Summit 2017 in Lisbon on 7 November. The action plan should be comprehensive covering aspects ranging from education to improve understanding and respect for others through to reporting, recording and monitoring hate speech, as well as prosecuting perpetrators and providing victim support. He was speaking during a panel debate on ‘Moderating hate speech: who should be given a platform?’ during the Forum part of the summit which is focused on industry, policy and political leaders. During the summit he also gave a policy briefing where he presented FRA’s recent report on surveillance by intelligence services.(Contact: Friso Roscam Abbing)

b.    Strengthening cooperation in Finland on FRA’s Fundamental Rights Survey

The Agency met representatives from the Finnish Ministry of Justice and the Human Rights Centre in Helsinki on 6 November to discuss deeper cooperation in the context of FRA’s Fundamental Rights Survey. Finland‘s National Action Plan on Fundamental and Human Rights 2017-2019 outlines data needs which FRA’s Fundamental Rights Survey can address in terms of general population’s experiences and opinions. The Ministry of Justice has recently set up an advisory group to plan for a parallel survey data collection which would be based on the FRA survey and target selected minority groups, producing data on minorities that can then be compared with FRA’s results concerning the general population. Together, these surveys contribute towards fulfilling the data needs of the wider fundamental and human rights monitoring system and related indicators in Finland. The meeting discussed the practical steps to take for FRA and the Finnish authorities in order to align their survey data collection activities.(Contact: Sami Nevala)

c.    Council of Europe expert group looks at European immigration detention rules

The Agency provided fundamental rights input to discussions at the 8th meeting of the Council of Europe’s expert committee on administrative detention of migrants, operating under the supervision of its European Committee on Legal Cooperation. The meeting took place from 25 to 26 October in Strasbourg. The committee aims at codifying existing European rules and standards on administrative detention of migrants. The Agency has been taking part in the expert committee’s work since autumn 2016. The committee examined the restructured and overhauled new version of the draft codifying instrument, which was prepared after consultation with civil society and National Preventive Mechanisms. The next meeting will take place in February 2018 in Paris (Contact: Tamas Molnar)

d.   Addressing the challenges Roma women face

The sixth International Roma Women’s Conference took place from 6 to 7 November at the Council of Europe. It focused on the challenges and barriers of political representation and participation of Roma and Traveller women. The Agency presented selected research findings on the persistent gender gap and examples of Roma women empowerment drawing from its work on Local engagement for Roma Inclusion. (Contact: Ursula Till-Tentschert)

e.    Applying the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the EU

The Agency took part in a seminar on ‘Applying the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU’ from 6 to 7 November. It was organised by the Academy of European Law in cooperation with the Spanish Judicial School in Barcelona. Judges, magistrates, state lawyers, public prosecutors, members of the judiciary training divisions, and court officials from EU Member States participated in the seminar. At the event discussions were held on the scope of application and interpretation of the EU Charter in national legal orders, devoting specific attention to the rights to good administration, and to freedom of movement and residence. FRA’s contribution focused on the interrelationships between the rights to family life and to freedom of movement and residence, with a focus on their impact on the rights of the child and on LGBTI rights. FRA also took the opportunity to introduce to participants some of its tools that can support the activity of the judiciary, such as Charterpedia and the handbooks FRA develops in cooperation with the European Court of Human Rights. (Contact: Maria Amor Martin Estebanez)

f.     FRA trains Schengen evaluators on return issues

FRA contributed to a training session on return issues for Schengen evaluators on 23 and 24 October in Budapest. The session was organised jointly by the European Commission and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex. The main issues covered were detention, non-refoulement, children in return procedures, procedural safeguards and entry bans. Representatives from EU Member States, Schengen Associated Countries, Frontex and the European Commission took part in the session (Contact: Michal Nespor ).

g.   Meeting fundamental rights obligations in using EU Structural Funds

The Agency gave a presentation in Lancut, Poland, on 19 October on the fundamental rights obligations of using European Structural and Investment funds. It was speaking during the annual review meeting of the Partnership Agreement, where national management authorities discussed progress with the European Commission in implementing the operational programmes of all Polish European Structural and Investment Funds. (Contact: Patrycja Pogodzinska)