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The assistance and expertise provided by the agency helps the Members States to fully respect fundamental rights when implementing EU law. This complements the agency’s cooperation with the EU institutions.
To guarantee a close working relationship with FRA, each Member State appoints a government official who works directly with the FRA as a National Liaison Officer.
National Liaison Officers (NLOs) are the main contact points for the agency in Member States. Continuous exchange and regular meetings help to create a strong working partnership, which guarantees that information is shared and national needs are recognised and addressed.
NLOs have the opportunity to submit opinions on FRA’s draft annual work programmes. This gives the agency a greater understanding of the type of fundamental rights analysis and assistance the Member States need to shape informed policy. The agency regularly informs NLOs about research findings, upcoming reports and activities, while NLOs provide feedback on the expediency and relevance of the agency’s work. NLOs also help to communicate FRA’s work to the relevant national ministries, departments and government bodies.
FRA maintains regular contact with government experts in national, regional and local administrations and organises meetings with them in the context of specific projects. This cooperation allows the agency to better respond to the needs of practitioners and officials who are responsible for safeguarding fundamental rights at all levels of government.
For example, as part of its Roma project, the agency is working closely with EU Member States to develop methods that measure progress on Roma integration across the EU. In another area, FRA collects evidence of the extent to which lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people’s rights are respected in the EU to help governments develop policies in line with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Géraldine Guille, NLO Network Coordinator