Press Release

Migration turmoil tests EU fundamental rights resolve, finds FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2016

Over one million people sought refuge in the EU in 2015, a fivefold increase from the year before. In its Fundamental Rights Report 2016, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) examines the scale and nature of the challenge and proposes measures to ensure fundamental rights are respected across the EU.

Report: Fundamental Rights Report 2016 >> 

Online summary >>

Last year, the EU’s fundamental rights resolve was sorely tested, with assaults on many of the freedoms, rights and values on which Europe is founded,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “The EU and its Member States must stand firm in defending the rights to which everyone is legally entitled, whether they have lived in the EU for generations or have just arrived on Europe’s shores.”

This annual Fundamental Rights Report highlights challenges and achievements across a broad spectrum of fundamental rights issues across the EU. Many of the issues covered by this year’s report will be discussed in more detail during the Fundamental Rights Forum 2016, which will take place on 20-23 June in Vienna.

  • With 60 million people forcibly displaced worldwide, the migration situation is set to remain at the top of the EU agenda. The majority of refugees coming to Europe, many of them children, are risking their lives by paying smugglers to cross the sea in overcrowded and unseaworthy boats.
  • An upsurge in racist and xenophobic incidents was noted in many Member States, fuelled by fears over the migration situation and a spate of terrorist attacks. FRA’s report finds that Muslims and Jewish communities were particularly affected.
  • The terrorist attacks once again highlighted the difficulty of finding the right balance between protecting personal data and privacy and maintaining internal security. A number of EU Member States are in the process of reforming their legal intelligence framework, which could potentially increase the intrusive powers of the services.

You can access the report here: Fundamental Rights Report 2016

For further information please contact: / Tel.: +43 1 580 30 642

Notes to editors:

  • The Fundamental Rights Report 2016 summarises and analyses major fundamental rights developments in the EU throughout 2015, with proposals for action in the areas of equality and non-discrimination; racism, xenophobia and related intolerance; Roma integration; information society, privacy and data protection; rights of the child; and access to justice including rights of crime victims.
  • FRA provides evidence-based advice to EU and national decision makers, thereby contributing to informed and targeted debates and policies on fundamental rights.