FRA Director’s contract extended for another 3 years

On 22 May 2013, FRA’s Management Board formally decided to extend the contract of Morten Kjaerum as Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights for another 3 years, with effect from 1 June 2013.

“The Management Board has unanimously decided to extend the contract of Director Kjaerum. We are particularly impressed with the integrity, the commitment and the outstanding contributions of the Director to the high quality output of the Agency,” said FRA Chairperson Maija Sakslin. “Under his lead, in only five years he has guided the growth of the agency, helping it mature as an organisation, and ensured it is a standard bearer for fundamental rights in the EU.”

A recently completed independent external evaluation indicates a high level of satisfaction from stakeholders with the agency’s work and course of action. The stakeholders ranged from senior representatives of EU bodies and Member States to civil society organisations. The evaluation was carried out in line with the Agency’s Founding Regulation.

FRA’s Founding Regulation also states that the agency shall be headed by a Director appointed by its Management Board for five years. This term may be extended once for not more than three years. Morten Kjaerum was first appointed as FRA Director in 2008.

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Notes to the editors:

  • The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) provides evidence-based advice to EU and national decision makers, thereby contributing to more informed and better targeted debates, policies and laws on fundamental rights.
  • Before joining FRA, Mr Kjaerum was the founding Director of the Danish Institute for Human Rights, Denmark’s national human rights institution. After 17 years in executive roles, Mr Kjaerum built the Institute into an internationally-recognised institution. An expert in human rights, Mr Kjaerum was also a member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and President of the International Coordination Committee for National Human Rights Institutions, a network coordinating relations between the United Nations and national human rights institutions. Mr Kjaerum has written extensively on issues relating to human rights, in particular on refugee law, prohibition against racial discrimination, and the role of national human rights institutions.
  • The procedure for appointing the Director follows Article 15 of the agency’s Founding Regulation:
  • After a call for candidates and transparent selection procedure, the European Commission draws up a list of eligible candidates;
  • Applicants are then asked to address the Council and the relevant European Parliament Committee and to reply to questions;
  • The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and the Council of the European Union’s Working Party on Fundamental Rights (FREMP) give their opinions and state their orders of preference;
  • Then the Management Board appoints the Director, taking these opinions into account.