Fundamental Rights Forum

Vienna, 20-23 June 2016
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights convened a Fundamental Rights Forum from 20 - 23 June 2016 under the motto "Rights, Respect, Reality: the Europe of Values in Today's World" in order to:


The Forum connects practitioners, grassroots workers, thinkers and high-level decision makers in an inclusive and open platform.


The Forum looks at existing challenges and good practices as well as future challenges and opportunities. We provide space to enable dynamic and respectful dialogue, and knowledge sharing where different views can stimulate innovative ways forward.


The Forum aims at having a tangible impact for the benefit of everyone in the EU. We encourage actors to apply the knowledge and ideas gained, and work together to strengthen fundamental rights for all.


Chair's Statement

Around 100 practical ideas to address the EU’s pressing fundamental rights concerns are contained in the Chair's Statement from the Fundamental Rights Forum that has just been published. The ideas were captured during the Forum that gathered over 700 leading experts from around the world.

The Chair’s Statement is not a negotiated and agreed text and in no way commits any of the Forum participants. It reflects elements that received strong support during the debates in Vienna from 20-23 June 2016. It attempts to capture the spirit of the event drawing on the multiple good suggestions, promising practices and innovative approaches that were shared throughout the event.

Read full statement (also in FR and DE) >>

Read daily round-ups >>

View the Forum photo gallery >>


Recordings of all plenary sessions of the Fundamental Rights Forum are available via the online programme.

Click on a session in the programme to view the recording!




Innovation for fundamental rights

Rights-based governance

Empowering rights holders

Fundamental rights-compliant sustainable growth



Fundamental Rights Forum 2016: connect.reflect.act :

This video was produced together with young refugees and professional filmmakers. These filmmakers, Anabel Rodriguez and Sepp Brudermann, also organised film workshops for young unaccompanied refugees. Find out more on the Spiraleye Productions website.


Fundamental Rights Forum Patron, Heinz Fischer, President of Austria


I would like to congratulate the Fundamental Rights Agency on its initiative to establish a Fundamental Rights Forum in Vienna, providing a unique possibility to bring together European and international human rights decision-makers, activists and rights holders.

Not least in view of the extraordinary challenges of the current migration crisis we need to keep a strong focus on the basic values and principles our societies are based on: human rights, equality and intercultural understanding.

In order to further develop a comprehensive and strong human rights culture in our societies we need more than the mere knowledge of a set of rules and principles. Above all, we need to develop the corresponding attitude and behaviour. Human rights exist to the degree that they are respected by people in their relations with each other, and by governments with regard to their citizens.

I am confident that the Fundamental Rights Forum will provide some important inputs and proposals on how to better achieve this goal.


Frans Timmermans, First Vice President of the European Commission, will deliver the keynote speech during the official opening of FRA’s Fundamental Rights Forum 2016 at the Vienna City Hall on 20 June.


In his view: "When people are attacked for who they are and not for what they do, that is discrimination. This is happening today in parts of Europe to Jews, Muslims, Christians, gays, Romas and Sinti. Intolerance and discrimination are on the rise. If this increase is left unchallenged and unanswered, we need have no illusions about the consequences. This is why we need a strong fundamental rights culture in order to protect those who are exposed and vulnerable in our societies."

Live feed

The 2018 Forum is developed in partnership with:


The Fundamental Rights Forum 2016 will be opened on 20 June in Vienna City Hall. From 21-23 June the forum will take place at the Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center in Vienna.

Messeplatz 1 PF 277
AT - 1021 Vienna

The venue can be reached by the metro line U2 via the Prater Messe station. The Congress Center also has excellent links with the airport, road and rail networks. By taxi, the journey from Vienna International Airport to the venue takes 20 minutes.

Messeplatz Accessibility

The meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. In case you need further assistance, please get in touch with the organisers. We will do our best to cater for your individual needs.