FRA Newsletter - February 2009

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FRA Newsletter - February 2009

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1. FRA Activities and Publications

FRA Work Programme 2009

The Agency's Work programme for 2009 - adopted by its Management Board in December 2008 - mandates the Agency to address a wide range of fundamental rights within its Multi-annual Framework. The Work Programme foresees a continuation of work related to racism, xenophobia and related intolerance, as well as a variety of projects in other fundamental rights areas, such as on asylum, irregular migrants, data protection, rights of the child, access to justice, and people disabled with mental illness. In 2009, the Agency will publish a number of key reports, including the final results of its homophobia studies and of its large EU-wide minorities and discrimination survey (EU-MIDIS).

New FRA Website

The FRA is revamping its website. The website is still in its developmental stage and currently available in English. In the future, the main pages of the site will also be available in French and German. In the coming months, the content of the website will be extended further to incorporate dossiers on each of the FRA's areas of work. It will also integrate the FRA InfoPortal (currently being updated) to become a clearing house for information and data on fundamental rights in the EU.

European Parliament's report on fundamental rights makes references to the FRA

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on "The situation of fundamental rights in the European Union 2004-2007". The resolution includes numerous references to the Agency's work and stresses Parliament's determination to "follow up the Agency's work in the European Union". The Parliament calls on the Member States and the European Commission to act in full on the recommendations of the Agency as set out in its first annual report. In line with the FRA report on homophobia, the resolution urges Member States to guarantee the right of free movement to same-sex couples under conditions equal to those applicable to heterosexual couples. It also asks the Commission, in consultation with the Agency, to propose legislation to combat homophobia. While welcoming the establishment of the Agency, the Parliament regrets its limited remit and calls on the EU institutions to involve the Agency in the legislative process.

Fundamental Rights Conference on Freedom of Expression

The Agency hosted its first Fundamental Rights Conference, "Freedom of expression, a cornerstone of democracy - listening and communicating in a diverse Europe", in Paris on 8-9 December. The conference was organized by the FRA in cooperation with the French Ministry of Justice as part of the French EU Presidency's programme of events. It brought together participants from all EU Member States, EU institutions, international organisations, governments, media, civil society and human rights bodies, as well as FRA's Management Board and Scientific Committee. Over 200 participants entered into a vibrant debate on freedom of speech and how to protect people from abuse thereof, while at the same time ensuring that it remains one of the pillars of our democracies. A conference report will be available in April 2009. The next FRA Fundamental Rights Conference will be held in Stockholm/Sweden in December 2009.

S'cool Agenda 2009

Following the very popular issue of the FRA's S'cool Agenda in 2007-2008, the FRA has published a new issue of this awareness raising tool for 2009. This agenda, available in English, German and French, is meant to help young people to learn about fundamental rights issues in Europe while keeping track of their own daily activities and homework. The agenda offers a wide range of helpful tools, such as the "human rights temperature" test, a glossary, and tips on how to fight discrimination. The S'cool Agenda is available on the FRA's website for download and can be ordered free of charge from

Media diversity toolkit now available in French

The FRA, in cooperation with the European Broadcasting Union and France Télévisions, has published a French version of its Diversity Toolkit for factual programmes in public service television. The toolkit is a self-learning guide for media professionals and contains a wealth of information on how to promote the principles of cultural diversity in broadcasting organisations and TV programmes. It compiles practical elements (checklists, references) and good practice advice that can be applied and learned from. The toolkit comes in the form of a handy ring binder and includes a DVD with examples from news and current affairs programmes from a dozen European countries, illustrating some of the difficulties that journalists face when reporting on minorities. The Media Toolkit is available on the FRA's website for download in English and French, and can be ordered free of charge (including DVD) from

2. Key upcoming FRA Publications

The following list of 2009 publications is not exhaustive. Exact publication dates remain to be confirmed.

  • Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the EU Member States. Part II: The Social Situation (spring 2009)
  • Comparative legal study on child trafficking (spring 2009)
  • Report on indicators measuring the implementation, protection, respect and promotion of children's rights in the European Union (spring 2009)
  • FRA Annual Report 2008 (June 2009)
  • EU-MIDIS: European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey - executive summary (first semester 2009)
  • Data in focus' report on the discrimination experienced by Roma (first results from EU-MIDIS) (first semester 2009)
  • Data in focus' report on the discrimination experienced by North Africans (results from EU-MIDIS) (first semester 2009)
  • Ethnic Profiling Handbook (mid 2009)
  • Comparative study regarding discrimination on grounds of race and ethnicity in the area of employment (mid 2009)

3. Key upcoming FRA Events

5-6 March 2009
FRA Management Board Meeting, Vienna/Austria

19-20 March 2009
FRA National Liaison Officers meeting, Vienna/Austria

May 2009 (to be confirmed)
Fundamental Rights Platform, Vienna/Austria

4. FRA Recruitment and Calls for tender

FRA Call for Expressions of Interest to set up reserve list of Temporary Agents for Quality Manager

Open Call for Tender for Travel Agency Services (FRA-HR-2009-1300-T01)