The Chair’s Statement, published today, addresses the three most pressing fundamental rights challenges facing the EU today: refugee protection, inclusion and the digital age, corresponding to the three thematic areas discussed at the Forum. To take just three of the many ideas:
- Broadening legal ways of reaching safety as an alternative to risky irregular entry for migrants and refugees. EU Institutions and Member States could consider enlarged resettlement schemes, as well as building public support for responsible asylum policies through political leadership and creating powerful positive narratives to counter anti-refugee rhetoric;
- National, regional and local authorities, the business sector, professional groups and civil society should work together to use EU funds (particularly the European Structural and Investment Funds) to stimulate socially responsible and inclusive growth that promotes fundamental rights and respect for diversity;
- A ‘traffic light’ warning system for users of digital technology, by IT companies and their regulators. Red lights would warn of the potential reuse of their personal data.
The Chair’s Statement will be presented on 11 July to both the EU Council’s Working Party responsible for fundamental rights (FREMP) and the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). The proposals and commitments it contains will thereafter be widely disseminated in national parliaments and among stakeholders, as well as forming the basis of much of the Agency’s forthcoming work.
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.