Press Release

FRA study on Member States' legal framework on surveillance

The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has published a report today looking into the legal arrangements that govern intelligence services and their surveillance practices in the EU Member States. It underlines the challenges of protecting citizens while safeguarding the fundamental rights that underpin European societies.

Access the report and summary: 

Surveillance by intelligence services: fundamental rights safeguards and remedies in the EU >> 

Intelligence services play a vital role in a democratic society: They guard against security threats, and in doing so protect fundamental freedoms and the rights of individuals,” says FRA Director a.i. Constantinos Manolopoulos. “In the wake of the barbaric attacks in Paris, we must ensure that surveillance measures maintain national security and fully respect fundamental rights. This will underscore the EU’s firm commitment to democracy, equality and respect for fundamental rights.

The European Parliament requested the FRA study published today in its resolution on 14 March 2014. It focuses on the legal framework of intelligence powers in this area, their oversight and access to effective remedies by individuals in this context within the EU Member States.

To read the report and summary, see: Surveillance by intelligence services: fundamental rights safeguards and remedies in the European Union - Mapping Member States’ legal frameworks.

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Notes to editors:

  • The report was based on data from all EU Member States on the legal framework governing surveillance collected by FRA’s multidisciplinary research network, FRANET. Additional input came from existing publications and experts. The report does not cover surveillance for law enforcement or for military intelligence.
  • The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) provides evidence-based advice to EU and national decision makers, thereby contributing to more informed and better targeted debates and policies on fundamental rights.