“Yes, we have a crisis of fundamental rights in Europe but also the goodwill, energy and ideas to overcome it. This is what we debated over the last four days in Vienna during the Fundamental Rights Forum 2016,” said FRA Director and Forum Chair Michael O’Flaherty. “Human rights cannot be viewed as an optional extra that can be sacrificed. They are the cornerstone of European identity; if we lose them we will lose Europe.”
The EU has built up a strong fundamental rights system over the years. However, rights are in crisis. Trust in democratic institutions is falling, undermining rights protection and promotion that ultimately benefit us all. To move forward, Europe must work together, always mindful that Europe is not alone in today’s increasingly interdependent world. Areas that need joint action include:
The Forum focused on the three most pressing fundamental rights challenges facing the EU today: refugee protection, inclusion and the digital age. Three of the very many suggestions were:
FRA will publish the full Chair’s statement of concrete suggestions in these three areas. FRA pledges to use every opportunity to present and discuss these findings with stakeholders throughout the EU. Already FRA will present the statement to the EU Council in July.
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