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Strengthen fundamental rights’ protection: All EU Agencies sign joint statement

European Union Agencies have pledged to strengthen fundamental rights protection in all areas of their work during a meeting of Heads of EU Agencies in Brussels on 20 February. In recognition of the enabling nature of fundamental rights, they have signed up a joint statement, which they will abide by in their internal and external dealings.

2015 work plans of the thematic cooperation platforms now available

In a drive to work more closely together on pressing fundamental rights challenges, the Council of Europe, the European Network of Equality Bodies, the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions and FRA have established four thematic cooperation platforms in 2014.

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Parliament Magazine: The European parliament must take steps to specifically address both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and not fall into the trap of division...Research by the EU fundamental rights agency (FRA) shows worrying trends when it comes to Jews experiencing discrimination as well as a fear of verbal or physical attacks, particularly in France, Belgium and Hungary...Similarly, an FRA survey has provided evidence of discrimination and stigmatisation of Muslims. Since the Paris attacks, anti-Muslim sentiments and incidents are on the rise in Europe, and Muslim communities fear retaliation.
EU Observer: The outgoing head of the EU’s fundamental rights agency, Morten Kjaerum, has warned against the use ethnic profiling as authorities seek to tighten security in the wake of terror attacks in France and Denmark. Kjaerum, who finishes his job as FRA chief next month, fears such profiling could find its way into EU policies that are designed to fish out those suspected of terrorist links. “They feel a sense of unfairness and discrimination but maybe more importantly, they feel that those that are there to protect them, namely the police, are not,” he said.
The Economist:There is some evidence that everyday anti-Semitism has risen. Once a phenomenon of the nationalist right, it is now found more among Europe’s Muslims than elsewhere. The Kantor Centre at Tel Aviv University, which compiles international data, says that anti-Semitic attacks have become more frequent in Europe since the early 2000s. Yet both Kantor and the EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights find that annual numbers have bounced up and down since 2003. They rise in years like 2009 when Israel and the Palestinians are at war. With Israel’s campaign in Gaza last summer, 2014 was a bumper year.