Fundamental Rights Conference 2014 focuses on migration

The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is dedicating its annual flagship event, the Fundamental Rights Conference (FRC), to discussing the importance of a fundamental rights-based approach to EU migration policy.

The Strategic Guidelines for legislative and policy planning in the area of freedom, security and justice, adopted by the European Council in June 2014, identified the need for “an efficient and well-managed migration, asylum and border policy” in the EU that is underpinned by “full respect for fundamental rights”. It recognised that the EU is “faced with challenges such as instability in many parts of the world as well as global and European demographic trends”. It also noted that “a comprehensive approach is required, optimising the benefits of legal migration and offering protection to those in need while tackling irregular migration resolutely and managing the EU’s external borders efficiently”. As the guidelines emphasise, it is important to “support Member States’ efforts to pursue active integration policies, which foster social cohesion and economic dynamism”.

The Fundamental Rights Conference will highlight key fundamental rights challenges that need to be considered when implementing the Strategic Guidelines. It will discuss means of alleviating the effects of the current migration pressures at the EU’s external sea and land borders, while fully respecting fundamental rights. The conference will also debate the best ways of promoting social inclusion and migrant integration, in order to create an environment in which migrants can take full advantage of their own potential, to the benefit not only of themselves but also of EU society as a whole.

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The high-level event is co-hosted together with the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It brings together over 250 policy makers and practitioners from across the EU, including representatives from EU institutions, international organisations, national governments and parliaments, law enforcement, civil society and many more.

Objectives

  • To ensure fundamental rights remain at the center of migration policy in the EU.
  • To discuss the fundamental rights at stake in the practical implementation of the Strategic Guidelines for legislative and policy planning in the area of freedom, security and justice, which were adopted by the European Council in June 2014.
  • To build on the work of the Task Force Mediterranean by supporting the development of fundamental rights-based activities that address current humanitarian emergencies at the EU’s external borders.
  • To address migrant integration from a fundamental rights perspective in order to create inclusive societies that are free of racial and other forms of discrimination, helping both migrants and recipient countries to develop.

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