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Anastasia Crickley: "It is a privilege and honour to be elected the first Chair of the FRA Management Board. The FRA provides a window of opportunity to support all with responsibility for the realisation of human rights. We can be proud of our human rights heritage in the EU, but there are challenges that we must address and we cannot be complacent. It is therefore critical that we work closely with our EU partners, the Council of Europe, civil society and others to safeguard our human rights."
Hannes Tretter, Vice-Chairperson: "The Agency's central task of data collection is a recognition that reliable and accurate information is crucial for policy-making. Evidence-based data is a key factor in formulating effective responses to existing inequalities and human rights concerns. In this context, independence is key to the future success of the Agency. This Management Board is committed to ensuring that the Agency provides independent expertise and objective advice."
FRA's Management Board is composed of one independent person appointed by each Member State, one independent person appointed by the Council of Europe, and two representatives of the European Commission.
At this first meeting, the Board adopts FRA's first work programme and gives its view on the Agency's first Multi-Annual Framework. Anastasia Crickley added: "We all know that 2007 will be a period of change and opportunity for the Agency. We must give it the time, resources and necessary support to be fully functioning in 2008."
To this very first Management Board meeting, FRA has invited a number of selected civil society organisations from across the EU which cover a wide range of human rights concerns. These civil society representatives exchange views on the Agency's future priorities with the members of the Management Board. This reflects the importance that FRA ascribes to the dialogue with civil society.
FRA came into being on 1 March 2007 and builds on the former EUMC. Up to now, the set-up phase has proceeded on schedule. The selection of FRA's Director is underway. Beate Winkler, former Director of the EUMC and current interim Director of FRA, will leave the Agency as planned on 15 July. The most senior official, the Head of Administration, will act up until the appointment of a new Director which is expected later this year.
For further information and interviews, please contact the FRA Media Team:
+43 (1) 580 30 642, firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to the Editors:
Information about FRA:
- FRA was established through Council Regulation (EC) No 168/2007 of 15 February 2007. It is an independent body of the EU and is based in Vienna. It is being built on the former European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC). FRA's objective is to provide assistance and expertise on fundamental rights matters to the EU and its Member States, when they are implementing Community law.
- The Agency's work refers to fundamental rights within the meaning of Article 6(2) of the Treaty on European Union, including the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and as reflected in the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Racism, xenophobia and related intolerance continue to be a thematic priority within the extended mandate.
- Parallel to the set-up of FRA's governing structure (Management Board, Executive Board, Scientific Committee and Director), the areas of its work and the priorities within those areas are being determined. This is done through a Multi-annual Framework (MAF) and an annual work programme. The MAF is decided on the basis of a proposal by the Commission, in consultation with the Management Board. It will then be adopted by the Council after consulting the European Parliament. The MAF covers a 5-year period and forms the basis for FRA's future annual work programmes. FRA is expected to be fully operational in 2008, in accordance with the set-up procedures foreseen by the Regulation.
More info at: http://fra.europa.eu/
Information about FRA's new Management Board Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson:
- The new Chairperson, Ms Anastasia Crickley, is the independent Board member from Ireland. She is the Head of Department of Applied Social Studies at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. She is Personal Representative to the OSCE Chairman-in-Office on Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination, also focusing on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians and Members of Other Religions. Ms Crickley is also member of the Council of State of Ireland.
- The new Vice-Chairperson, Mr Hannes Tretter, is the independent Board member from Austria. He is professor for fundamental and human rights law at the University of Vienna and Director of the "Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Menschenrechte" (Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights). Mr Tretter is an expert on EU, Council of Europe and OSCE human rights protection.