New Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Executive Board members for the Fundamental Rights Agency

The Management Board of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) held elections at their 8th Meeting that took place in Vienna on 14 and 15 December 2009. The Management Board elected Ilze Brands Kehris (Latvia) as its new Chairperson and re-elected Hannes Tretter (Austria) as Vice-Chairperson. Ilze Brands Kehris: "The decade that started with 9/11 and is now ending with the effects of the economic crisis shows that there is no room for complacency with regard to the respect for human rights within the EU.  The FRA's capacity to provide EU institutions and Member States with expertise on fundamental rights, based on analysis of data collected in all 27 Member States, can and should make an important contribution to the formulation of more effective evidence-based policies respectful of fundamental rights within the FRA competences.  It is a great privilege to be elected chairperson of the Management Board of the FRA and in this capacity to participate with the excellent FRA team in the further development of the FRA's work, including cooperation with the Council of Europe, IGOs, civil society and other stakeholders."Hannes Tretter: "I am honoured to be re-elected as member of a very strong and competent team. We are facing now - beside various threats like increasing racism or misuse of personal data and lacks of access to justice - a challenging period since the Treaty of Lisbon opens the door for FRA to deal in future also with the sensitive issues of the former third pillar."

The two new Executive Board members elected at the meeting are Marie Staunton (UK) and Linos-Alexander Sicilianos (Greece).

The 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.

The Executive Board comprises the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson of the Management Board, two other members of the Management Board elected by the Management Board and one of the representatives of the European Commission. The person appointed by the Council of Europe may participate in the meetings of the Executive Board.

The newly elected Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Executive Board Members will take up their duties mid-January 2010.

Notes to Editors:

The FRA was established through Council Regulation (EC) No 168/2007 of 15 February 2007. It is an independent body of the EU based in Vienna. The FRA provides assistance and expertise on fundamental rights matters to the EU and its Member States, when they are implementing Community law. For more information visit

The new Chairperson, Ms Ilze Brands Kehris is director of the Latvian Centre for Human Rights.  She has participated in numerous research projects, the main areas of her research being minority rights, citizenship, anti-discrimination and fundamental freedoms. Ilze Brands Kehris was Vice-Chairperson of the Management Board of the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC, the FRA's predecessor) from 2004-2007, and was a member of the Executive Board of the FRA before being elected the new Chairperson of the Management Board. 

The Vice-Chairperson, Mr Hannes Tretter, is the Management 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.

For further information and interviews, please contact the FRA Media Team

Tel.: +43 1 580 30 642