FRA speaks to European Parliament on fundamental rights achievements and challenges

FRA Director a.I. and Management Board Chairperson present Annual Report 2014 to Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
FRA Director a.I. and Management Board Chairperson present Annual Report 2014 to Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
Migration, the rights of victims, and child rights were key fundamental rights issues in 2014 and remain challenging this year, FRA interim Director Constantinos Manolopoulos said at a joint debate to present the Agency’s Annual Report at the European Parliamentary Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on 25 June.

The predicament in the Mediterranean worsened in 2014, with more than 3,000 people dying at sea as they attempted to reach safety in Europe, and the situation has worsened further this year, he underlined. However, migration policy cannot only focus on the EU’s borders, but must take a holistic approach to ensure the difficulties the EU faces in the area of migration can be overcome.

“The challenges that migrants face do not end with their arrival in the EU. Migrants, whether documented or not, often face discrimination, xenophobia and hate crime. Many Member States have policies and measures in place to combat this, but implementation often lags behind, and there is also little evidence that their impact on the ground is effectively monitored.”

There are a number of promising practices around the EU despite the challenges, the interim Director emphasised. For example, in at least 10 Member States, money is raised for victim support services by means of a fund paid into by people on conviction of a criminal offence. In this way, perpetrators contribute directly to the fulfilment of the victim’s right to access to justice.

During the same debate, FRA Management Board Chairperson Frauke Seidensticker spoke about the focus section of the report, which this year centred on fundamental rights indicators. She pointed out that one of the functions of fundamental rights indicators is precisely to improve the comparability and objectivity of data and information, adding that greater knowledge and broader awareness of fundamental rights issues in the EU help to ensure fuller respect of fundamental rights across the Union.

The full report and speeches can be found here.