This year the Agency turns 10. To mark the occasion, a series of high profile events are planned, starting with the FRA 10 year symposium in late February in Vienna. This is to publicly acknowledge and give thanks to the host country that has greatly supported the Agency over the last ten years.
>> Access the 2017 FRA calendar
Other events will focus on the Fundamental Rights report 2017 and its focus on 10 years of fundamental rights achievements. This will take place in Brussels with the support of the Maltese Presidency. Then another anniversary event in Brussels will showcase the main results from the Agency’s second minorities and discrimination survey. This is the largest EU-wide survey of experiences of and attitudes towards some of Europe’s most marginalised communities, including Roma, Muslims, and other minority/migrant groups. With intolerance and hate an increasing concern across many Member States, the results should galvanise efforts to address this worrying trend.
Migration will again be strong focus of the Agency’s work in 2017. Throughout the year, it will continue its series of monthly reports on migration-related fundamental rights concerns. In addition, in March, it will publish a major report that has mapped the various national integration policies, action plans or strategies that are being used across all EU Member States. It focused its attention on societal and political participation of migrants and their descendants.
Other areas of interest will include the use of biometrics in border management (November), a FRA Opinion on the EU’s fingerprinting database (January), and migrant children in administrative detention (June).
Staying with child rights, another core area of the Agency’s 2017 work, a major report on child-friendly justice will present the views of children involved in judicial proceedings. It will complement an earlier report that gave the professionals’ perspective. Then later in November, the Agency will turn its attention to child well-being and poverty across the EU, an issue of particular concern given the vulnerabilities of children and how it can affect their future.
The Agency report on fundamental rights and mass surveillance by intelligence services will be another milestone. In October, it will present the findings from its combined socio-legal analysis of existing laws and how they translate into practice, drawing on its update of the legal frameworks that safeguard fundamental rights in the context of surveillance and interviews with all those involved.
All told, this is just a snapshot of some of the highlights from 2017. A fuller picture can be seen in the 2017 calendar. As events around Europe unfold, it is likely the Agency will be called on for its independent expert advice.