Members of the Advisory Panel 2012-2013

Six members of the FRP Advisory Panel 2012-2013 were elected during the fifth FRP meeting, in line with the Advisory Panel's Terms of Reference, and three were nominated by the FRA Director.

The Advisory Panel is currently composed of the following FRP members:

Jamie Bolling
Jamie Bolling, Executive director of the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL)
Dominika Bychawska-Siniarska
Dominika Bychawska-Siniarska, Project Coordinator at the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights
Sara Giménez, lawyer, responsible for the Equal Treatment Department of the Fundación Secretariado Gitano
Roger Kiska
Roger Kiska, Senior Legal Counsel at Alliance Defence Fund
Elisabetha Kitanovic
Elisabetha Kitanovic, Executive Secretary for Human Rights, Conference of European Churches (CEC)
Allan Leas
Allan Leas, Secretary General of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE)
Catherine Lynch
Catherine Lynch, National Coordinator of the Irish Network Against Racism (ENAR Ireland)

Role of the Advisory Panel

The Advisory Panel supports the Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in the organisation and coordination of the Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP), and advises in preparing associated meetings and events.

Advisory Panel members serve a two-year term which can be renewed once. The composition of the Advisory Panel reflects a diversity of civil society representatives, gender balance and broad geographical representation.

Advisory Panel candidates

(In alphabetical order)

Pierre Barge | Jamie Bolling | Madjid Bourabaa | Dominika Bychawska-Siniarska | Lourdes del Fresno | Ana García Juanatey | Ada Garriga | Valentín González (Candidate withdrawn) | Robert Guttman | Roger Kiska | Elizabeta Kitanovic | Allan Leas | Klaus Löercher | Catherine Lynch | Roberta Medda-Windischer | Thomas Müller | Evelyne Paradis | Miltos Pavlou | Christian Perl | Luciano Scagliotti | Fatima Sounssi | Barbara Terenzi | Nils Torvalds | Virginia Wangare Greiner | Marc Willers

Pierre Barge
Pierre Barge, President of the European Association for the Defence of Human Rights (AEDH)

Activist and volunteer, committed to the defence of human rights for many years, President of the AEDH since 2006, retired after a 40-year long academic career, I have been involved in national and European civil society for a long time. Since the creation of the FRA, I have defended the fact that it should act independently and that NGOs should be able to bring their contribution. Outgoing member of the Advisory Panel, I stand for re-election and I wish to be a facilitator and an intermediary between the FRP and the FRA. I am in favour of dialogue and exchange, as I am convinced that democracy is fuelled by civic participation, I believe that all rights are equally important, that any progress for one right contributes to improve all the others, and that we need to keep fighting for their necessary effectiveness.

[back to top]
Jamie Bolling
Jamie Bolling, Executive director of the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL)

I have promoted human rights and the stopping of discrimination for twenty years. As a young, educated, white American in Europe I did not experience discrimination. Later a wheelchair user, single mother and immigrant in Sweden I became aware of how society is formed from a view of normality with hierarchies excluding many. I could no longer take buses, enter public buildings nor was I talked to as an equal. The experience of discrimination became one that I since confront. I visit many countries, recently Bulgaria. I met people living in an institution. It is not right that these people are forced to live without choice in an institution. I have been an Advisory Panel member for the past two years. I hope to continue work against discrimination through the FRA and therefore need your vote!

This candidate is also supported by: European Disability Forum

[back to top]
Madjid Bourabaa
Madjid Bourabaa, Président de Clé Nord Pas de Calais

Plus que jamais l'Europe doit s'appuyer sur sa capacité à faire respecter les droits fondamentaux, pour mener le combat féroce contre le déclassement, le déclin et la décohésion produit par la crise économique et sociale. Partout un sentiment de résignation s'installe ou la survie individuelle s'oppose au progrès collectif. C’est aujourd'hui et maintenant que nous devons amplifier nos interventions et nos actions. Pour cela, plus que jamais nous devons porter haut et fort les revendications des plus faibles, nous investir dans la consultation en offrant notre analyse et notre expertise. Cette dynamique constitue le socle de ma candidature au Groupe consultatif de la FRP. Je suis en effet investi dans le monde associatif depuis plus de 15 ans, économiste de formation j'ai initié un certain nombre de dispositifs visant à promouvoir l'égalité des chances et inclure activement les personnes discriminées.

[back to top]
Dominika Bychawska-Siniarska
Dominika Bychawska-Siniarska, Project Coordinator at the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

Europe has recently found itself at a human rights crossroads. It was evident in the lengthy negotiations of the accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights and in the concept of human rights becoming unpopular among 'old democracies'. The deteriorating economic situation leads to further marginalisation of the most vulnerable groups, particularly immigrants, internally displaced persons and individuals deprived of liberty. I have been a member of the Advisory Panel for the last two years. I supported the expansion of the FRA mandate, to include police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters. My role in the Advisory Panel would be to continue the activity commenced in the first term. I would communicate all the problems and potential solutions to the Director and the Management Board. I believe that my experience, knowledge of problems concerning human rights protection and the perspective of the new Member States will be beneficial to the work of the Advisory Panel.

[back to top]

Lourdes del Fresno
Lourdes del Fresno, Responsible for International Relations at Spanish Family Forum (SFF)

I’m Lourdes del Fresno and it would be for me an honour to serve both the Advisory Panel and all NGOs of FRP.
I work with the Spanish Family Forum (SFF) a civil, non-confessional platform to voice and defend the interests of family associations while protecting and promoting fundamental rights. The associations and bodies associated with SFF represent over four million Spanish families.
For over 15 years, I have cooperated with various NGOs, for the last five years at the International Department of SFF. Trained in International Relations. What I love most about my experience - with people of over 60 nationalities - is team work, exchanging practices, learning from others and helping to improve the conditions of people’s lives.
I fully believe that human dignity is inviolable; everyone has the right to life, being equal before the law; freedom of thought, expression, movement, religion, education and information. The family shall enjoy legal, economic and social protection.

[back to top]

Ana García Juanatey
Ana García Juanatey, Member of the Executive Board of the Human Rights Institute of Catalonia (IDHC)

My name is Ana G. Juanatey and I have been endorsed by the Human Rights Institute of Catalonia (IDHC). I am a PhD candidate at Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona) and hold leadership positions at several prominent civil society organisations, including the IDHC (member of its Executive Board) and United Explanations (Vice-President). I also work closely with other organisations, such as Action against Hunger and Alliance for Dignity and Freedom. At present, I believe that a healthy partnership between the FRA and European civil society is more important than ever for protecting basic rights that risk being undermined by the current social and economic climate, such as economic and social rights. If elected, I will strive to make the FRP a more efficient transmission belt between EU citizens and the FRA since I am firmly convinced that the FRP is a powerful tool for assuring this cooperation.

[back to top]

Ada Garriga
Ada Garriga, Advocacy and Representative of the European Women’s Forum

Being a member of the Advisory Panel for the last two years has been an enriching experience. Following the terms of reference, the Advisory Panel only advises the Director in matters related to procedural issues between FRP and FRA, therefore members of the Advisory Panel should have knowledge of both the FRA and the FRP. As for the FRA, I am fond of human rights and European law as they have been my two passions: after my degree in law, I got an LLMM in European law and a PhD in human rights. As for FRP, I have been working for different NGOs for several years, enjoy multicultural environments, and speak English, French and Spanish. I think that no matter the purpose of the organisation, all NGOs want to build a better world, and therefore deserve tolerance and respect to achieve a deep and diverse dialogue on any subject, specially related to human rights.

[back to top]

Valentín González
Valentín González, Director of International Relations at the Movement against Intolerance - CANDIDATE WITHDRAWN

My name is Valentín González and I work at Movement against Intolerance. I am here at the election of the FRA Advisory Panel because I firmly believe that this is a historic moment in which it is more important than ever to strengthen the defence of fundamental rights in Europe. I have 20 years of continuous service in activism for the strengthening of democracy in Spain, European integration, awareness against racism, antisemitism, and intolerance, and legal and social help for victims of discrimination and hate crimes. These 20 years of continuous service for fundamental rights offer me a fairly complete view of the reality and the challenges we face, particularly in the midst of this economic crisis that threatens to sweep aside the basic principles that constitute the essence of the European social model. So let’s work harder than ever for the fundamental rights cause.

[back to top]

Robert Guttman
Robert Guttman, Communications coordinator of the European Network of Communities (ENC)

Establishing human rights has been a key element in trying to prevent the horrors of World War II from happening again. The development of human rights is still quite young and many aspects are still unfolding, such as: how can we manage to protect rights of groups that are not in the political spotlight? how can the young generations be initiated into a deep understanding of and respect for human rights? what constitutes a right – and what not? what is the source of these rights? In the European Network of Communities (ENC) I am used to working with individuals and groups from different church backgrounds (Catholic, Protestant, ...) facing cultural and denominational diversity, whilst progressing. I am prepared to serve towards the protection of human rights, always with the aim to advance towards greater respect for the human being.

[back to top]
Roger Kiska
Roger Kiska, Senior Legal Counsel at Alliance Defence Fund

As an international human rights lawyer specialising in fundamental rights and having experience with all of the European institutions, I am well placed to serve the needs and provide the proper level of legal and policy based expertise on behalf of the FRA’s NGO constituents. Being Vienna based, I would further be available to the Advisory Panel for any and all meetings. The breadth of my legal work on behalf of the Alliance Defense Fund has included involvement in more than 20 cases dealing with fundamental rights at the European Court of Human Rights. As a human rights expert I have also testified or keynoted Committee or Inter-group meetings at the European Parliament on rights issues. I have further had the privilege of serving as an expert for other national parliaments in Europe. It would indeed be an honour to serve the Advisory Panel and the fine NGO’s it represents.

[back to top]
Elizabeta Kitanovic
Elizabeta Kitanovic, Executive Secretary for Human Rights and Communication at Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches (CEC)

I am committed to the protection of the fundamental rights of all people. Since I took over my current post, one of my tasks was to develop a Human Rights Training Manual for European Churches. In the implementation process of this project we take churches from the point where they stand in terms of human rights. We assist and equip them to deal with human rights through Church and Society (CSC) mechanisms, in order to advocate for the 'voice of the voiceless' in European society. As I was already elected a member two years back, I am aware of EU FRA procedures and thus I can contribute easily to its developments. If I am elected a member of the Panel, I’ll be as committed as last time to strengthening the ties between EU FRP and the Human Rights and Democracy Network in Brussels, the CSC human rights working group and others interested in the agency’s work.

[back to top]
Allan Leas
Allan Leas, Secretary General of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE)

My commitment to 'fundamental' human rights began as a teenager, when I established the schools based anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa. Since seeking political asylum in the UK I have been continuously active in human rights, mostly in the field of refugee protection, although my personal commitments extend to anti-racism, minority rights and environmental protection. These commitments are evidenced by my being a Trustee of Dialogue Initiative; focused on ethical leadership, human rights, and governance issues in Africa, and an adviser to the International Research Centre on Social Minorities (IRCSM), dedicated to research and lobbying on behalf of vulnerable and social minorities. These are areas of personal interest that overlap with FRA’s thematic areas, and in which I believe I am able to contribute. My present position is that of Acting Secretary General of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE). My previous position was Executive Director of African and Middle East Refugee Assistance (AMERA).

[back to top]
Klaus Loercher
Klaus Löercher, Human rights advisor of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)

Human rights have to be strengthened in the European Union. Their indivisibility, universality, interdependence and effectiveness have to be defended and promoted. Civil society organisations play an important role.
As one of the largest civil society organisations in the EU the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) strives for the effective enjoyment of fundamental social rights. During my professional life I have worked as legal adviser and expert mainly in trade unions at German, European and also international level. I dealt with individual court cases as well as with contributions to the elaboration of European and International instruments for human rights. For example, I was involved in the elaboration of the Revised European Social Charter having served as reference for the fundamental social rights enshrined in the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights. As ETUC Human rights advisor I would like to contribute to advising the Fundamental Rights Agency’s Director in the Advisory Panel.

[back to top]
Catherine Lynch
Catherine Lynch, National Coordinator of the Irish Network Against Racism (ENAR Ireland)

Currently National Coordinator with ENAR Ireland, I have been active in the area of equality and rights since the mid-1990s. I am an avid supporter of the role of the FRA and believe strongly that engagement with civil society organisations is paramount to its effectiveness. Therefore, I am ready to dedicate myself to working on how best to engage and the practical task of organising. I feel I bring a particular skill set, demeanour and sense of what is relevant to different stakeholders, having worked across all sectors, across issues and from the local to the European level. Most importantly, I bring the combined experience of the ENAR Ireland network, an organisation engaging daily with local, European, civil society and government organisations. ENAR Ireland is a committed member of the Fundamental Rights Platform. If elected, I in turn am committed to fully participating in the Advisory Panel.

[back to top]
Roberta Medda-Windischer
Roberta Medda-Windischer, Senior Researcher at Institute for Minority Rights European Academy Bozen/Bolzano (EURAC)

I am an Italian lawyer specialised in human rights and minority protection. In addition to my research work on the protection of minorities (in particular, religious minorities), on international law and on new minorities stemming from migration (including Roma and Travellers), I have gained solid experience working as a Legal Officer for various international organisations, including the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Tuzla, BiH, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Shkodra, Albania; the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, Switzerland and the Council of Europe/European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. Equally important is the enriching experience I had working at the Advice on Individual Rights in Europe (AIRE), a dynamic NGO based in London. I submit my candidature for the election of the FRA Platform Advisory Panel for I believe my experiences and commitment to human and minority rights in a combination of applied research and work with NGOs and international organisations make me well qualified to meet the needs of the FRP Advisory Panel’s work.

[back to top]
Thomas Müller
Thomas Müller, Deputy Head of Programmes at Child Helpline International (CHI)

I am a manager in the field of international cooperation, civil society development and children’s rights, with several years of professional experience in working with big NGO networks on national, European and global level. I have been a member of the Advisory Panel since 2010, nominated by Child Helpline International and Missing Children Europe. Within the Agency’s Multi-Annual Framework (MAF), my main focus lies within 'children’s rights and protection', however my expertise crosscuts with other areas of the MAF, such as 'participation of citizens' and 'information society and data protection'. I am a strong believer in the work of the FRA and their efforts in interacting and collaborating with civil society organisations. Exploring ways in which the FRA can better utilize the wealth of expertise within the platform and increase participation of every single FRP member has been a great task, and I would be excited to volunteer for another term.

This candidate is also supported by: Missing Children Europe

[back to top]
Evelyne Paradis
Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Intersex Association – European Region (ILGA-Europe)

Evelyne joined ILGA-Europe in 2005 and previously held the position of Policy Director. She worked with the UN High Commission for Human Rights, the Council of Europe and human rights NGOs in Canada. Originally from Canada, Evelyne holds post-graduate degrees in history, political science and European studies. My interest in contributing to the FRP as a member of the Advisory Panel stems from my experience of working for human rights NGOs, in particular on civil society dialogue participation and NGO empowerment. This experience taught me the importance of defined procedures, clear communication and transparent processes for meaningful dialogue between civil society and public institutions. Strongly committed to the indivisibility of human rights and the promotion of equality for all, I consider that forums like FRP provide a unique space for dialogue and strengthening human rights NGOs to act in solidarity and mutual respect for the protection of human rights of everyone.

[back to top]
Miltos Pavlou
Miltos Pavlou, Director of the Institute for Rights Equality & Diversity (i-RED)

As Director of i-RED, Institute for Rights Equality & Diversity, in Athens, Greece, I am leading the RED network combating racism & xenophobia, establishing the RED Early Warning System and Atlas of Racism, Equality and Discrimination (www.red-network.eu). My research activities include numerous publications on migrants and minorities, racism and discrimination phenomena, integration, children rights and homophobia. I am fluent in English, Italian, French, Greek and a basic listener of Spanish and Serbo-Croat. I am a long-standing partner of the FRA and active in supporting the Fundamental Rights civil society Platform since its early stages. I strongly believe that this is a unique moment and a crossroads for re-orientation and change for Europe and its people. Being particularly concerned and worried about the long term effects of the crisis for social rights, hate and intolerance, discrimination and poverty-inequality, I invest hope and energy in supporting and maximising the FRP and FRA’s role and impact in safeguarding and promoting fundamental rights.

[back to top]
Christian Perl
Christian Perl, Member of the Administrative Council at the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA)

As a member of the Advisory Panel I will support the FRA as it delivers excellent research and information and builds on its anti-discrimination roots and looks at the state of fundamental rights across the EU. I am committed to ensuring that the most vulnerable are protected and that their fundamental rights are respected. I have extensive experience particularly as regards housing rights and the rights of some of the most vulnerable in our society: refugees, migrants and the homeless. I believe that the FRA can work to ensure that the fundamental rights enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights are understood by citizens and respected by states in the European Union. With my dedication to fighting for the rights of vulnerable groups, my administrative experience in a European organisation and my consultative approach to work, I will make a positive contribution to the Advisory Panel.

[back to top]
Luciano Scagliotti
Luciano Scagliotti, Member of the Policy and Media Committee of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR); advisor for equality, antidiscrimination and migration at CIE (Centro d'Iniziativa per l'Europa)

I was born in Asmara, Eritrea in 1949, an Italian citizen by jus sanguinis. Expert in the field of racism and ethnic discrimination. Member of the Policy and Media Committee of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR). Independent Advisor for equality, antidiscrimination and migration. I think that there is a clear, actual and imminent danger that both national governments, the EU and international/global institutions choose to privilege economic, financial and business interests jeopardising the access of any person to the actual enjoyment of fundamental rights. A balance can only be found by a stronger and, if needed, renewed action of both the NGO community and those agencies which have the mission and the means to defend civil, political, cultural and social rights for both individuals and groups. The FRP can have an important role in this process; that’s why I’m standing for the FRP elections.

[back to top]
Fatima Sounssi
Fatima Sounssi, Member of Euro Arab Centre of Catalonia, President of Orientalia Association

I believe my professional background and personal aptitudes are suitable to be part of the Advisory Panel. My position in the European Arab Centre of Catalonia is the result of a strong belief in civil society power to help local, national and European leaders make their decisions regarding populations’ rights and participation.
I have direct contacts with transnational citizens with specific cultural and physical profiles, can understand their feelings and hopes and have the capacity to link with institutional entities.
Working with civil entities and projects made me aware of the importance of fundamental rights to achieve a really human environment to live in: education, cultural development, social role consciousness, equality in rights and duties are compulsory factors.
Born in Morocco, experienced in French, German, American, Spanish and Arabic ways of thinking so I'm keen on going further and participating in a somehow supra-level project as yours.

[back to top]
Barbara Terenzi
Barbara Terenzi, Coordinator at Comitato per la promozione e protezione dei diritti umani

As a civil society activist and human rights defender, my engagement in human rights promotion and protection has been lifelong. Hence my mandate in the FRA Advisory Panel has been an important experience in participating to the promotion of the HR architecture. However, to contribute in a concrete and operative way, I believe and have experienced in my long career, that only after an initial stage of acquaintance and practice which takes time, it is possible to contribute in a meaningful and significant way. For this reason I am presenting my nomination for a second mandate with the aim of completing the engagement assumed previously towards the FRA Civil Society Platform, the NGOs which have trusted me and FRA in its whole, for the HR architecture and their importance which we all share and struggle for.

This candidate is also supported by: Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo (VIS) and La Gabbianella Coordinamento per il Sostegno a distanza

[back to top]
Nils Torvalds
Nils Torvalds, Representative of the Finland's Swedish speaking National Psychosocial Central Association

There are many different takes on human rights. For many reasons I prefer a historical one. That opens up a less solemn view. Great declarations on human rights have too often been either turned into the very opposite – that goes with almost everything since the 'Déclaration de droits de l'Homme et du Citoyen' and the French Revolution. In our societies we still tend to promise, but we are much less eager to fulfil these promises. I feel that we, by acting in this way, erode the legitimacy of our democratic establishments. And there are too many things we take for granted, and I think I did it myself. When my fourth child was born, I noticed very early, that one thing I had taken for granted, was not there. He is a Klinefelter child.

[back to top]
Virginia Wangare Greiner
Virginia Wangare Greiner, Director of Maisha e.V.- African Women in Germany

I am working initially with undocumented African migrants, but now with Eastern European and Russian migrants. As an African woman I have personally experienced the problems of multiple discrimination. I work with Maisha e.V.-African Women in Germany, on the national level with the German Integration Planning Committee and in my European work with the European Network of Migrant Women (ENoMW), I strive to ensure that rights are maintained politicised and respected, especially those of people of colour and undocumented migrants in the European community. As Vice-Chair of ENoMW,-European Network of Migrant Women and Director of Maisha E.V-African Women in Germany. I have been able to develop a good network with women's organisations across Europe, hence my additional interest on gender issues.

[back to top]
Marc Willers
Marc Willers, Trustee of Friends Families and Travellers (FFT)

I am delighted to have been nominated by Friends Families and Travellers (FFT) to serve on the Advisory Panel. I am a barrister and a trustee of FFT. Throughout my legal career I have always fought to uphold the human rights and civil liberties of the individuals that I have represented and to achieve social justice and equality for my clients – that work was recognised in 2011 when I was privileged to receive the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year award. In the UK I specialise in representing Gypsies and Travellers and campaigning on their behalf but I also provide human rights training in Europe. I believe that the FRP can make a real difference to the lives of the under privileged members of our European society and I would like to play my part in ensuring that the FRP achieves that goal. Please vote for me.

[back to top]

Background documents