FRA Symposium: Promoting the rule of law in the EU

The fourth annual Symposium of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) will focus on the rule of law and reflect on how it is implemented in EU Member States. This year’s symposium will contribute to discussions on the need to fully embrace the rule of law across the EU.

FRA Symposium: Promoting the rule of law in the EU

Key speakers

  • Morten Kjaerum

    Morten Kjaerum

    Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Prior to taking this position in June 2008, Mr Kjaeurm worked on Human Rights for 25 years.

  • Kathleen Lynch

    Kathleen Lynch

    Appointed Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People in the Department of Health and Department of Justice, Equality and Defence on 10th March 2011. Minister Lynch was elected to Cork Corporation in 1985 and first elected to Dáil Eireann in 1994.

  • Rui Tavares

    Rui Tavares

    Member of the European Parliament (Independent/European Greens), Portuguese historian and columnist. He works in the areas of Civil Freedoms, Justice and Home Affairs, Human Rights, Culture, and economic affairs.

  • Emmanuel Crabit

    Emmanuel Crabit

    Head of the unit "General justice policies and judicial systems" in the Directorate General for Justice.

The symposium will examine two themes in particular:

  • Key fundamental rights elements of the rule of law, including appropriate operational indicators;
  • Existing experiences in evaluation and ’measuring‘ the rule of law.

These themes are approached with the following objectives in mind:

  • To provide a forum for discussing the rule of law in the EU, ensuring a strong fundamental rights perspective;
  • To allow the exchange of ideas between academia, monitoring bodies and policy makers;
  • To explore ideas related to promoting the rule of law.

Background

The need for a reflection on the promotion of the rule of law in the EU was already put forward in 2009 by the Dutch Minister of Justice. This need has since been reinforced by other Member States, by the European Commission (President Barroso "State of the Union 2012 Address"), by the European Parliament and the present Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU. There are strong arguments for an enhanced focus on the rule of law for the protection of rights of people living in the EU; for economic growth (rule of law as an incentive for investment and trade); for freedom of movement (to create a common area of justice which works in a similar way); for internal-external cohesion (ensuring what is promoted in third countries also happens ‘at home’); and to identify and promote best practices.

A stronger focus on the rule of law would also address the dilemma with the Copenhagen criteria: while there are strict requirements for future EU Member States, there is less leverage on members to make improvements once they have joined the EU.

Discussion will take into account the outcomes of the seminar organised by the Irish Presidency and the FRA on 9-10 May 2013, entitled ”A Europe of equal citizens: equality, fundamental rights, and the rule of law”.

Participants

The event will gather around 70 key experts from across Europe to discuss rule of law indicators from a fundamental rights perspective, including:

  • European Commission (DG JUST, DG ELARG)
  • Irish Presidency
  • Members of the FREMP Working Group of the Council of the EU
  • European Parliament (LIBE)
  • EU Member States representatives
  • Council of Europe, OSCE (ODIHR)
  • Academia
  • NGOs

Participation is upon invitation only.

FRA Symposium 2013 final report

Speeches

   Programme

Downloads: 

Programme Symposium 2013

[pdf]en fr (220.51 KB)
Programme

Symposium 2013 Programme

Thursday, 6 JuneWorkshops

18.00

Welcome drink at FRA

19.30 

Evening reception

at Restaurant Arco, Marokkanergasse 3, Vienna

Friday, 7 JuneWorkshops

08.15 – 09.00

Registration and welcome coffee

Plenary moderation provided by Friso Roscam Abbing, FRA Head of Communication department.
09.00 – 09.10

Welcome by Morten Kjaerum, FRA Director

09.10 - 09.25 Keynote speech by Katheleen Lynch, Irish Minister of State, Department of Health and Department of Justice, Equality & Defence 
09.25 - 10.00

Presentations by keynote speakers:

  • Rui Tavares, Member of the LIBE Committee, European Parliament 
  • Emmanuel Crabit, Head of Unit ‘General justice policies and judicial systems’, European Commission
10.00 – 10.30

Q & A session

10.30 - 13.00

3 parallel working groups

  • Working  group  I – The EU: what role for the rule of law

- Rule of law, justice and fundamental rights requirements within the European Union

- Basis for monitoring the rule of law in the European Union

Moderator: Jonas Grimheden, FRA Head of Sector ‘Access to Justice’

Rapporteur: Constance Grewe, Professor emeritus of Public law, University of Strasbourg and Judge of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina

 

  • Working  group  II – Indicators: measuring performances and trends

- Links between the rule of law, justice and fundamental rights

- What indicators could best measure the rule of law?

Moderator: Joanna Goodey, FRA Head of Freedoms and Justice Department

Rapporteur: Deaglán Ó Briain, Irish Presidency, Chair of the Working Party of the Council of the EU on Fundamental Rights, Citizens Rights and Free Movement of Persons (FREMP)

 

  • Working  group  III – Mechanisms: synergies amongst existing monitoring schemes and further developments

- How can existing mechanisms be used?

- How to develop synergy and refinement between existing mechanisms?

Moderator: Martin Gramatikov, Senior Justice Sector Advisor at HiiL The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law

Rapporteur: Tatiana Termacic, Head of Support to Human Rights National Implementation Unit, Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law, Council of Europe

13.00 - 14.00 Lunch
14.00 - 15.50

Plenary
Reporting from the rapporteurs of the working groups
Q&A 

15.50 - 16.00

Concluding remarks by Morten Kjaerum, FRA Director

16.00 - 16.30

Farewell coffee

There will be simultaneous interpretation English-French.

Downloads: 

Programme Symposium 2013

[pdf]en fr (220.51 KB)
Speakers

Symposium 2013 Speakers

(In order of apperance)

Keynote speakers

Morten-Kjaerum
Morten Kjaerum is the Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, a position he has held since June 2008. Before joining the FRA, Mr Kjaerum served as the founding Director of the Danish Institute for Human Rights. Over 17 years in top executive roles at Denmark’s national human rights institution, Mr Kjaerum built the institute into an internationally recognised institution. An expert in human rights implementation, Mr Kjaerum has been a member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the President of the International Coordination Committee for National Human Rights Institutions, a network coordinating relations between the United Nations and national institutions. Mr Kjaerum has written extensively on issues relating to human rights, in particular on refugee law, the prohibition against racial discrimination and the role of national human rights institutions.
Kathleen Lynch
Kathleen Lynch is the appointed Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People in the Department of Health and Department of Justice, Equality and Defence on 10th March 2011. Minister Lynch was elected to Cork Corporation in 1985 and first elected to Dáil Eireann in 1994. She was subsequently elected again in 2002 and has retained her seat since.

The Minister of State is accountable for developing and articulating Government policy on Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People. Minister Lynch is leading a fundamental Mental Health Reform Programme in Ireland (Vision for Change).

Rui Tavares
Rui Tavares is a historian, columnist and a Member of the European Parliament (Independent/European Greens). He works in the areas of Civil Freedoms, Justice and Home Affairs, Human Rights, Culture, and economic affairs. He also acts as vice-president of the special committee CRIM - Organised crime, corruption and money laundering. He's a doctoral student at the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences in Paris, where he is completing a research on censorship in the 18th century. He published, among many titles, "The Small Book of the Great Earthquake" (tinta-da-china), and translated 18th century and 19th authors. Tavares writes weekly at the Portuguese newspaper "Público". 
Emmanuel Crabit
Emmanuel Crabit is the head of the unit "General justice policies and judicial systems" in the Directorate General for Justice. He was previously the head of the fundamental right and rights of the child unit in the same Directorate General. Before working for the Directorate General for Justice, he worked in the Internal Market and Services Directorate General and, inter alia, dealt with Commission initiatives in the field of data protection, Information Society services, media pluralism, and services. Emmanuel Crabit holds a PhD in public law and was senior lecturer in public law before joining the European Commission.
 

Moderator

Friso Roscam Abbing
Friso Roscam Abbing is Head of the Communication Department at the FRA, a position he has held since 2009. Prior to this, Mr Roscam Abbing was a Member of the Cabinet of the European Commission Vice-President Jacques Barrot, the Commissioner for Freedom, Security and Justice, after having served from 2004 to 2008 as the spokesman of European Commission Vice President Franco Frattini, the prior Commissioner for Freedom, Security and Justice issues. Between 2000 and 2004, he headed the EU Asylum Policies sector at the European Commission’s DG Justice, Freedom and Security. Before this, he led the EU Office of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE, 1994–2000) after starting his career as Head of the Legal Department at the Dutch Refugee Council (1986–1994).

 

Background reading

Background reading for FRA Symposium 2013

  1. European Commission press release: EU Justice Scoreboard: European Commission broadens the scope of its analysis of Member States' justice systems (27/03/2013)
     
  2. Council conclusions on fundamental rights and rule of law and on the Commission 2012 Report on the Application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union adopted on 6th June 2013 by the JHA Council. (06/06/2013)
     
  3. Speech by Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, EU Justice Commissioner: Safeguarding the rule of law and solving the "Copenhagen dilemma": Towards a new EU-mechanism (22/04/2013)
     
  4. Speech by Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs: The rise of right-wing extremism in Europe (27/05/2013)
     
  5. Speech by Morten Kjaeurm, FRA Director: Innocent figures: why we need more facts - Address at conference on Right-wing Extremism and Hate Crime. (14/05/2013)
     
  6. Concept paper on “Measuring the rule of law, justice and fundamental rights” (pdf 341.24 KB) developed by HiiL Innovating Justice in consultation with the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). HiiL is an independent research and advisory institute devoted to promoting a deeper understanding and more transparent and effective implementation of justice and the rule of law, worldwide. 
     
  7. Conference: "A Europe of Equal Citizens: Equality, Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law". EU Presidency conference focused on the protection of equality, human rights and the rule of law: the conference reflects a commitment by Irish Minister Shatter to use the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union to promote discussion and debate on the protection of fundamental rights and the promotion of the Rule of Law in Europe. 
     
  8. Directorate of Monitoring, Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe: Practical impact of the Council of Europe monitoring mechanisms in improving respect for human rights and the rule of law in member states.
     
  9. FRA Publication: FRA Symposium report - Using indicators to measure fundamental rights in the EU: challenges and solutions. (July 2011)
     
  10. FRA Publication: Bringing rights to life: The fundamental rights landscape of the European Union. Focus section of the FRA’s Annual Report 2011 dedicated to the overall fundamental rights structure within the EU. (June 2012)
     
Practical info

FRA Symposium 2013 - Practical info

Due to the limited capacity of the venue, participation is upon invitation only.

Contact us

For general information about the Symposium, please send an email to: conferences@fra.europa.eu or call: +43 (1) 580 30 654

Location

The Symposium will be held at the FRA in Vienna. The map below shows the location. For more information about how to get to the FRA see the following document How to reach the FRA.

FRA - European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
Schwarzenbergplatz 11
1040 Vienna
Austria
T: +43 (1) 580 30 - 0 • F: +43 (1) 580 30 699 • info@fra.europa.eu

View European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in a larger map

Final report

Promoting the rule of law in teh European Union - FRA Symposium report

[pdf]en (159.62 KB)
Past editions

Past editions

FRA Symposium 2012 - Group photo
FRA Symposium 2012 - Plenary debate with the keynote speakers

FRA Symposium 2012 on data protection

The EU data protection reform: new fundamental rights guarantees

The 3rd Annual FRA Symposium, held in Vienna on 10 May 2012, focused on the fundamental rights dimension of the proposed data protection reform. The Symposium highlighted the importance of the right to have personal data protected, as enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The Symposium built on the work of the FRA including the FRA report on the role of National Data Protection Authorities and its opinions on the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data..

2012 Programme (pdf)
FRA Symposium report 2012 (pdf)


FRA Symposium 2011 - Group photo
FRA Symposium 2011 - Group photo

FRA Symposium 2011 on fundamental rights indicators

Using indicators to measure fundamental rights in the EU

The 2nd Annual FRA Symposium, held in Vienna on 12 - 13 May 2011, brought together key experts and stakeholders to discuss the development and use of indicators as a tool to measure progress in the implementation of fundamental rights in the EU. The Symposium was organised in light of the FRA's mandate to develop methods and standards that improve data comparability, objectivity and reliability in this field.

The Symposium built on the work of the FRA and other actors, including in particular the conceptual and methodological framework on indicators for human rights developed under the auspices of the United nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Treaty Bodies.

2011 Programme [en] [fr] (pdf)
2011 Outcome report [en] (pdf)


FRA Symposium 2010 - Morten Kjaeurum addresses participants
FRA Symposium 2010 - Morten Kjaeurum addresses participants

FRA Symposium 2010 on strengthening the fundamental rights architecture in the EU

A symposium on the institutional mechanisms to protect, promote and monitor fundamental rights in the EU

The first FRA Annual Symposium took place in Vienna on 7 May 2010. The focus was on the institutional mechanisms to protect, promote and monitor fundamental rights in the EU. The Agency invited representatives from EU institutions, equality bodies, data protection authorities, national human rights institutions and national government officials to discuss the findings of 4 FRA reports which were launched during the symposium.

The 4 reports were issued by the FRA giving evidence that data protection authorities, equality bodies and national human rights institutions across the European Union are in need of additional support. These reports are looking into four sets of highly related issues that all contribute to the overarching architecture of fundamental rights protection in the EU: equality bodies, data protection authorities, national human rights institutions and the Racial Equality Directive’s impact.

2010 Programme [en] (pdf)