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The Fundamental Rights Survey provides for the first time a comprehensive set of comparable data concerning people’s experiences and opinions concerning the way their fundamental rights are protected. The survey focuses on situations which people in the EU face in their everyday lives, in areas ranging from data protection to equal treatment, access to justice, consumer rights, crime victimisation, good administration and the importance of protecting rights.
Addressing these topics in a single survey allows for the identification of gaps in the realisation of rights, rights awareness and service provision across a broad range of rights – as people experience them. The data collection for the Survey took place in 2019 in all EU Member States, North Macedonia and the United Kingdom.
There is a lack of comparable and robust data on most fundamental rights areas as regards the experiences of the general population. Data that are currently available – either from administrative sources or existing surveys in diverse subject areas – do not capture the full range of people’s everyday experiences as they relate to fundamental rights, and are often focused on collecting information on attitudes. At the same time, data collection in key fundamental rights areas is not systematic across all EU Member States.
The results of the survey will feed into policy discussions concerning fundamental rights, and are intended to support EU and national policy makers when making decisions about future legislation and resource allocation based on collection of evidence on the ground. The main beneficiaries of the results of the survey include EU institutions, EU Member States, international organisations and civil society organisations working to ensure respect and promotion of fundamental rights. The fundamental rights indicators developed as a part of the survey will assist in assessing progress in the EU with respect to the realisation of rights.
The full-scale survey data collection took place in 2019, and the results are presented in a range of outputs to ensure that the collected data is relevant for policy makers and processes in the EU. Ipsos MORI collected the data based on the specifications developed by FRA. Data collection was done in cooperation with Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in the Netherlands, the Centre des Technologies de l'Information de l'Etat (CTIE) in Luxembourg and Statistics Austria in Austria.
In the process of developing the survey, FRA has consulted various stakeholders to collect their inputs and needs for the survey. The Agency has also consulted survey methodology experts to inform the design of the survey.
In 2015-2016 FRA carried out background research to further develop survey methods that meet the needs of the Agency when collecting data on the general population of the EU. The survey design – which involves a combination of face-to-face and online data collection, as appropriate in each country – was piloted in 2017. After adjusting the survey design based on the pilots, the Agency started to prepare the full-scale data collection in 2018, which was completed in 2019.