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Fundamental Rights Conference 2012

Key speakers

  • Martin Schulz

    Martin Schulz

    President of the European Parliament. He has been is a Member of the European Parliament since 1994 and has served in a number of committees, including the sub-committee on Human Rights and the Committee on Civil Liberties and Home Affairs.

  • Viviane Reding

    Viviane Reding

    Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. Prior to her appointment, she was Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth, Media and Sports and Commissioner for Information, Society, and Media.

  • Loucas Louca

    Loucas Louca

    Assumed his duties as Minister of Justice and Public Order of the Republic of Cyprus in December 2008. In 1998 he was one of the founders of the EPALXIS party and since 2001 he has been a member of its Political Bureau.

  • Paula Teixeira da Cruz

    Paula Teixeira da Cruz

    Minister of Justice, Portugal. Previously she served as a Member of the High Council of the Public Prosecutor's Office, Member of the General Council of the Bar Association, and Member of the Supreme Judicial Council.

  • Navanethem Pillay

    Navanethem Pillay

    UN High Commissioner for Human Rights since September 2008, served as a judge on the International Criminal Court in the Hague (2003-2008), acted as a defense attorney for anti-apartheid activists, played a role in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

  • Nils Muižnieks

    Nils Muižnieks

    Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. Other posts he has held include: Chairman of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (2010-2012); Latvian minister responsible for social integration, anti-discrimination.

  • Morten Kjaerum

    Morten Kjaerum

    Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Prior to taking this position in June 2008, Mr Kjaeurm worked on Human Rights for 25 years.

This year’s conference will focus on Justice in austerity - challenges and opportunities for access to justice.
At a time when the European Union and its citizens are deeply affected by the current economic crisis, we must maintain our vigilance, ensuring that fundamental rights do not fall victim to austerity measures and that people can access justice when their rights are violated. The FRC will therefore examine current challenges in accessing justice and explore how we can turn the economic crisis into an opportunity for innovation and reform.

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Conference trailer video


The Fundamental Rights Conference is the main annual event of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. This year the conference is hosted under the high patronage of the President of the European Parliament and in close cooperation with Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI). The Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union also supports this event.


Some 300 policy makers, experts and practitioners from EU institutions and bodies, the Council of Europe, national administrations, associations of legal professionals, judiciary, civil society and many more.

Key questions

  • What are the effects of economic crisis on judicial systems and those seeking justice?
  • How can access to justice be maintained for everyone, including people in precarious situations, who have become even more vulnerable during the economic crisis?
  • What are the emerging patterns in litigation, private legal services or state-funded legal aid programmes?
  • How can we turn this time of economic crisis into an opportunity for innovation, needed harmonisation and reform? What are the solutions and who are the actors that can further access to justice at national as well as European levels?

FRC - greener and more socially responsible!

The Fundamental Rights Conference aims to be a socially responsible and environment friendly event. To this end, all the conference documents will be printed on environmentally friendly paper. Moreover, we assessed greenhouse gas emissions linked to the energy consumption of the Fundamental Rights Conference and will compensate for carbon emissions by supporting a selected carbon project initiative.

Day 1 & 2 updates



FRA Exhibition at the EP

26 – 29 November 2012

ASP1 (Zone G Area Balcony 1st Floor)