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The project addresses the need to support the implementation of fundamental rights at the local and regional level with concrete tools and good practice examples. The project will provide policy makers with practical tools and models for effective multi-level cooperation in implementing fundamental rights. Through focus group research with local and national officials in a number of pilot countries, the FRA has mapped and analysed existing practices, challenges and tested solutions. Lessons learned, tools and practical advice will be compiled in an online toolkit for fundamental rights actors across the different levels of government.
Fulfilling fundamental rights is a shared responsibility across government levels. But often a gap remains between rights on paper and rights on the ground. FRA therefore engaged in research to examine how this gap can be overcome by adopting a strategy that brings together different levels of government, as local and regional authorities are responsible for many policy areas which have impact on people's fundamental rights. This follows the Recommendation of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights on implementing human rights nationally (2009).
FRA undertook qualitative research on fundamental rights practices in: Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The research looked at: asylum, anti-discrimination, gender equality, social cohesion and integration.
The research was based on focus group discussions with local, regional and national government officials. Results were analysed and compared to get a comprehensive view on how different levels of government can work together to protect fundamental rights. Successful models of cooperation are being tested in fundamental rights projects in: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
The findings will be analysed together with an external Advisory Group of ten international and national experts on fundamental rights and multi-level governance, from organisations such as the EU Committee of the Regions, the European Commission, the Council of Europe and UN Office of the High Commissioner for human rights.