FRA's Director explained how human rights protection and stronger security go hand-in-hand during an exchange of views with members of the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Terrorism at their meeting on 8 January in Brussels. ** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY **
Freedom of expression enables many other fundamental rights but there exists challenges to upholding this right. At a time when support for promoting and protecting of human rights appears to be weakening in some parts of Europe, FRA's Director delivered a speech at a conference on 'Freedom of Expression in the Contemporary World' hosted by the Polish Council of Attorneys at Law in Warsaw on 1 December. ** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY **
Beyond unacceptable patterns of failure to deliver effective human rights protection we must acknowledge an underlying malaise – this is the increasing willingness of some who hold power to repudiate the very human rights values and systems themselves. This phenomenon is relatively new and it is a matter of extreme concern, given the way in which it can corrode the system and weaken it. ** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY **
There remain big gaps in the protection of human rights across the EU and its member states. FRA’s 2017 Fundamental Rights Report analyses these gaps in selected critical areas and takes note of the efforts made to address them. ** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY **
A comprehensive human rights policy has to have evidence from the ground. We need solid data, and we need regular reporting on fundamental rights developments across all 28 EU member states. And it is precisely this data collection and comparison that form the basis of the Fundamental Rights Report we are presenting here today, and which will form the backdrop to our discussions.
There is no arguing anymore that it is a matter of straightforward international human rights law that the state must foster a thriving civil society. So first and foremost, we are calling for respect for the law.
Human rights are the ethical bricks and mortar on which Europe was rebuilt after the Second World War. They ensure that the state fulfils its task of protecting the wellbeing of its people, and at the same time they help to make sure that democracy does not turn into mob rule. ** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY **
The Agency's Director addressed the High-level expert group on information systems and interoperability in Brussels on 25 April where he underlined that interoperability is not intrinsically a fundamental rights violation but requires adequate safeguards and mechanisms to ensure the rights set out in the EU's Fundamental Rights Charter are upheld without exception for everyone entering and residing in the EU.
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The Agency spoke at the Salzburg Forum conference on shaping our common future in Sarajevo on 7 April. The event builds on the Forum’s previous conferences and the Vienna Declaration on tackling violent extremism and terrorism. It will examine Europe’s common values and fundamental rights and the challenges posed by extremism and terrorism.
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