Andreas Accardo oversees the Agency’s cooperation with its institutional partners, including the EU institutions, Member State governments, human rights bodies, civil society and intergovernmental organisations. The Unit liaises with policy makers at the EU and national level to support the development of fundamental rights compliant legislation and policies. Andreas Accardo joined the Agency’s precursor organisation, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, in 2004. He then continued working for FRA where he led diverse projects, for example in the area of Roma integration, human rights at the local level and media diversity. From 2014 to 2018, he headed the Director's Office. Prior to joining FRA, he worked on institution-building programmes in former Yugoslavia with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). He coordinated technical assistance and administrative reform programmes for local governments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as capacity-building projects for the national parliaments of Serbia and Montenegro.
He holds a master’s degree in political science from the German University of Münster and a postgraduate degree in peace and conflict studies. His areas of expertise include EU and international relations, political affairs, human rights and good governance.
Ioannis N. Dimitrakopoulos is Scientific Advisor to the FRA Director and ad interim Head of the Equality, Roma and Social Rights Unit. He is a social scientist, educated in the UK. From 1984, he taught at the University of Ioannina and Athens College, and conducted or coordinated national and transnational EU funded research projects on a range of human rights issues, for example discrimination, racism, antisemitism, Roma, rights of the child, etc. He is the author of a textbook on Greek legal and political institutions and several articles. He started working for the Agency in 2003 (when it was still the EUMC) and since then has been responsible for many of its major reports.
Joanna Goodey's areas of expertise with respect to the FRA’s work include: victims of crime; hate crime; trafficking in human beings; quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, including surveys.From the mid-1990s she held lectureships in criminology and criminal justice, first in the Law Faculty at the University of Sheffield and subsequently at the University of Leeds. She was a research fellow for two years at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and has been a consultant to the UN International Narcotics Control Board. She was also a regular study fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg.
She studied criminology, as well as human geography, and is the author of the academic textbook ‘Victims and Victimology: Research, Policy and Practice’ (2005), and co-editor of the book, together with A. Crawford, on ‘Integrating a Victim Perspective within Criminal Justice: International Perspectives’ (2000). To date, she has published over thirty academic journal articles and book chapters.
Nicole Romain is Head of the Communications and Events unit. She joined FRA as Scientific Editor in March 2010, and has built up and led the agency’s Editing and Production Sector since 2011.
Prior to taking up her appointment at FRA, she worked as an author and editing consultant for Bertelsmann Publishing in Germany and Spain, and Eurofound, the EU Agency for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, in Dublin, Ireland.
She has authored several academic journal articles and contributed to encyclopaedia volumes on health-relevant topics. From 1994 until 2000, she lectured at the German Sport University Cologne. She studied Sports Sciences at Hamburg and Montpellier Universities, and psychology and social sciences at Montpellier University. She holds a Masters in Sports Sciences and a postgraduate degree in Social Sciences from Montpellier University, France.
Sandra Aigner-Accardo provides training and capacity-building expertise to FRA's projects across all areas of work. She has worked on projects in the area of hate crime, Roma integration, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, protection and participation of children and young people, and media and diversity. Her areas of expertise with respect to the Agency’s work include human rights education and professional training, as well as youth participation. From 2011 to 2016, she managed the Agency’s staff learning and development programme.
Prior to joining FRA, she worked for the European Commission’s Directorate-General Trade. She holds a master's degree (MA) in European Economy and Business Management.
Ludovica Banfi's areas of expertise with respect to the FRA’s work include: health and migration; multiple discrimination; gender equality and social research methods.
She has managed several projects in areas such as migration and domestic work, healthcare of migrants, multiple discrimination and transnationalism in the context of migration in the EU and neighbouring countries. She previously worked as a research fellow at the University of Bologna, the University of Trento and at Middlesex University and as a research assistant in NGOs in Canada, Italy and Ukraine.
She holds a PhD in sociology and has published a number of articles, book chapters and reports in the fields of migration and discrimination, including Genderace, The use of racial anti-discrimination laws: gender and citizenship in a multicultural context - Final report (2010).
Julia Behrens' areas of expertise include the Common European Asylum System, migrant smuggling, the return of persons to their country of origin, as well as horizontal issues relating to EU fundamental rights.
Prior to joining FRA, she worked as a senior consultant for ICF, a policy consultancy in Brussels, providing research, evaluations and impact assessments in the area of EU asylum and migration for the European Commission. Other postings in her career include the German International Cooperation (GIZ) in South Africa, the German Foreign Office and the European Commission. She is a qualified lawyer and holds a PhD from Humboldt University in Berlin on the scope of application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights for the Member States. She has published extensively in the fields of fundamental rights, asylum, migrant smuggling and children’s rights.
Michael Beis coordinates the development of the Annual Report.
His area of thematic expertise with respect to the FRA’s work include: Roma inclusion issues; equality and non-discrimination, as well as racism and related intolerances. He has managed the Agency's research networks since 2003. He holds Master and postgraduate degrees in human rights, EU studies and international politics, as well as European Union Legal practice, and has published on the subject of discrimination in the housing market.
Vida Beresneviciute's areas of expertise with respect to the FRA’s work include: survey research management; social research methods, data analysis and quality.
She previously headed the Institute for Ethnic Studies in Lithuania, held academic research position at the University of Vilnius and worked on minority surveys, human resource development research. Her areas of work covered issues of equality, discrimination, migration, and development of the non-governmental sector.
She holds a PhD in sociology, and has published over twenty academic journal articles and book chapters.
María Estébanez is a legal expert responsible for the coordination of policy files in the unit and acts as the focal point for the Agency’s relations with the EEA and Norway Grants.
Her areas of expertise include: the development of rights-based indicators; issues of equality and non-discrimination, in particular LGBTI; the rights of the child, including in the field of asylum. She previously worked as legal officer and consultant for the OSCE, as consultant for the Council of Europe and several civil society organisations. She was also project manager for the Department of Law and the Institute for Human Rights of the Åbo Akademi University (Finland).
She has a D.Phil in Law from the University of Oxford, where she lectured at the Masters Foreign Service Programme, and an M.Phil in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam. She is the author/co-author of books on minority protection in Europe and published numerous articles/book contributions on various aspects of human rights protection and on the legal status of the OSCE.