European Commission

FRA's founding regulation stipulates that the agency provides that work closely with all relevant Union institutions. The European Commission plays a key role in the agency’s work and participates in its governing bodies.

Commission representatives sit on FRA’s Management Board (together with independent members who are appointed by each Member State and the Council of Europe). The Board is responsible for adopting the agency’s work programme, approving its budget and monitoring its work. Through its participation in the Management Board’s discussions and its right to deliver an opinion on each draft annual work programme, the Commission can help inform the Board about current EU legislative and policy processes, thus ensuring the agency’s work focuses on issues of priority.

There is also a Commission representative in FRA’s Executive Board, which assists the Management Board in all its work.

FRA staff are in constant contact with the relevant departments at the Commission. In this way, the Commission can readily draw on the agency’s assistance and expertise when developing, implementing and evaluating EU policies and legislation. The close coordination also serves to ensure that reports and research initiated by the Commission are taken into account in the agency’s work, and vice versa. FRA works particularly closely with the Directorate-General for Justice and its Directorate for Fundamental Rights and Union Citizenship. The following are examples of FRA’s cooperation with the Commission:

  • FRA launched a project in 2011 at the request of the European Commission that aims to identify promising practices in the area of victim support services. Such practices increase the exchange of know-how, which is reflected in the Commission’s roadmap for strengthening the rights and protection of victims. This in turn makes provision for a future recommendation to EU Member States based on existing promising practices.
  • in September 2010, the Commission invited FRA to participate in the ‘Roma Task Force’ and to contribute to its work through the provision of data. In April 2011, the Commission mandated FRA in its EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies to 2020 with the following tasks: collecting data regularly across the EU; and assisting Member States in developing monitoring tools.
  • cooperation with the Commission’s activities in implementing the Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors (2010–2014). FRA also participated in the Commission’s internal consultations and a meeting of an EU expert group on unaccompanied minors, which involves all the key players engaged in the implementation of the action plan.