Assistance and expertise

The FRA provides “assistance and expertise” to EU institutions and Member States to support them “to fully respect fundamental rights” when developing and implementing EU law.

The agency structures its research questions around the needs identified by its stakeholders. The data that it collects are targeted at those areas where decision makers need evidence to shape their policies and legislation. It also allows the agency to focus its research on real-life problems experienced by people on a day-to-day basis.

Based on the evidence collected through its research as well as its expertise on fundamental rights, the FRA issues opinions and conclusions to EU institutions and Member States on how to ensure that fundamental rights are respected in practice when they develop and implement legislation and policy.

The FRA consults its stakeholders on an on-going basis within all its projects to identify how best it can offer advice and to assist them in improving respect for fundamental rights. Based on the types of problems identified by the agency and the needs expressed by stakeholders, the advice and assistance may be communicated through a variety of the following forms:

EU-MIDIS Main Results Report

  • Reports – The FRA delivers the data and evidence that it has collected through its socio-legal research and analysis to the EU institutions and Member States, together with opinions and conclusions on how to ensure greater respect for fundamental rights.
  • Request by an EU institution – The FRA may be formally requested by EU institutions to formulate opinions on specific thematic topics, or to deliver a legal analysis of legislation or of legislative proposal from a fundamental rights perspective. For example, in 2011 the European Parliament requested the FRA for its opinion on the proposed Directive on the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data.
  • Request from an EU Member State – A Member State may ask the FRA to supply information or data that would assist it to improve the respect of fundamental rights in areas falling within EU competence.
  • Training material and training programmes – For example, the Handbook on European non-discrimination law (2011), which was produced together with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg, guides legal practitioners through discrimination law.
  • Promising practices – The FRA also collects and shares ‘promising practices’, which have a particularly beneficial effect on fundamental rights, among the EU Member States. This gives Member States the opportunity to learn about successful models and solutions to common problems from each other.