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European Parliament discusses current fundamental rights challenges

FRA’s Director outlined the EU’s pressing fundamental rights challenges during an exchange of views with the European Parliament’s Committee of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) on 20 June in Brussels.

He was drawing from the Agency’s Fundamental Rights Report 2018 that was published in June. For examples, migration continues to be a challenge across the EU. Here he referred to five persistent challenges, as reported by FRA in February.

He spoke of the need for strengthened frameworks for fundamental rights monitoring of forced returns and to ensure fundamental rights compliance of large-scale EU IT Systems, especially considering interoperability.

He spoke about the benefits ICT developments can bring but also warned of their potential risks, such as in the case of artificial intelligence, an area which the Agency is starting to look at. He referred to rising racism and xenophobia, drawing on evidence from the Agency’s survey work.

Here he pointed to anti-Gypsyism and how intersectionality can deepen discrimination, particularly in the case of women Roma. He also mentioned how the EU’s Fundamental Rights Charter in 2017 remains underused, particularly at the national level.

The linked to the European Commission’s report on the application of the Charter in 2017, which was also being presented. The European Parliament is also beginning to work on a report on the situation of fundamental rights in the EU (Rapporteur MEP Terricabras). The debate was web streamed.