European Parliament LIBE Committee delegation visits FRA

The FRA Director and management team with members of the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee during their visit on 15 February 2013
The FRA Director and management team with members of the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee during their visit on 15 February 2013
A delegation from the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) – Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Ulrike Lunacek, Georgios Papanikolaou and Tatjana Ždanoka – visited the agency on 15 February to discuss ways of strengthening cooperation and receive an update on upcoming FRA research results.

The agency’s cooperation with the LIBE Committee has always been close, but with the European Parliament’s increased workload, the delegation emphasised how essential it is to make full use of FRA’s expertise. It was highlighted that the agency’s data and analysis provides the Committee with a solid base of evidence that is crucial to underpin its legislative and policy work.

Interview with Mr. López Aguilar, Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE):

The LIBE Committee delegates expressed their appreciation of FRA’s work and stressed the importance of the agency’s advice on issues that are currently part of the legislative debate. FRA Director Morten Kjaerum underlined the fact that even though the agency has only existed for five years, it has already acquired a large pool of data that can be accessed and utilised as necessary.

The Director outlined the agency’s priorities, activities and main partners. This was followed by an overview of the agency’s projects and the methodology used, including key pieces of research FRA will be publishing this year on the treatment of migrants arriving at the EU’s borders, as well as the results of the agency’s wide-reaching surveys on violence against women and of the experiences of LGBT people and of Jewish communities in the EU.

The LIBE Committee delegates noted that FRA Opinions on the fundamental rights aspects of proposed EU legislation, for example on the data protection package, have been particularly helpful. It was suggested that topics for forthcoming FRA analysis and expert advice could include the European Parliament’s work on the evaluation of the Schengen regime, the development of a common asylum policy, and enhancing the procedural rights of citizens in judicial proceedings.

The delegation also highlighted the need for FRA data and analysis on anti-discrimination issues, as well as the fundamental rights risks of rising extremism in the EU and the dangers of an increase in hate crime.

Further aspects of future cooperation will be discussed in the weeks to come.

See also the photo gallery of the visit.