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European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)
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Vienna, Austria
Signed 15 February 2007
Established 1 March 2007
Director Morten Kjaerum

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is a Vienna-based agency of the European Union inaugurated on 1 March 2007. It was established by Council Regulation (EC) No 168/2007 of 15 February 2007 as the successor to the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC).



The FRA is an EU body tasked with advising policy makers across the EU on how to best guaranteeing human rights for all.

Its mandate is "collecting and analysing data on fundamental rights with reference to, in principle, all rights listed in the Charter"; however, it is intended to focus particularly on "the thematic areas within the scope of EU law".[1] This is an expansion upon the scope of the present EUMC, which is restricted to issues of racism and xenophobia.

Like the previous EUMC, its primary methods of operation are investigation, reports, provision of expert assistance to EU bodies, member states, and EU candidate countries and potential candidate countries, and the education of the public. FRA is not intended to intervene in individual cases - that being the remit of the European Court of Human Rights - but rather investigate broad issues and trends.

The European Parliament tasked the agency to continue research started by MEPs into homophobia in Poland.[2]

Publications of the European Fundamental Rights Agency



Sources: FRA > Publications, FRA > Publications > Equal Voices

Since its inception, the FRA has published reports, available via its website here. A selection is given below. It also publishes the magazine Equal Voices, available via its website here.

Report: Annual report 2008

Source:FRA > Publications > Annual Reports > 2008

The Annual Report 2008 covered racism and xenophobia in each of the 27 Member States of the EU for the year 2007. It covered the following areas:

  • legal and institutional initiatives against racism and discrimination;
  • racist violence and crime;
  • racism and discrimination and preventive initiatives in employment, education, housing and health care;
  • developments in EU policy and legislation relevant to combating racism and xenophobia.

It concluded that implementation of the EU’s anti-discrimination legislation was patchy and there was a lack of awareness about legal redress open to victims of discrimination, and stressed the importance of equality bodies in making the Racial Equality Directive work and the importance of sanctions in raising public awareness about the legislation.

Report: Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation in the EU Member States Part I – Legal Analysis

Source:FRA > Publications > List > Report: Homophobia Part 1

The European Parliament tasked the agency to continue research started by MEPs into homophobia in Poland.[3] The FRA's report identified inequalities in treatment and legal protection for LGBT people, particularly with regard to same sex partnerships, and noted that homophobia could be combatted more effectively using EU-wide criminal legislation. It also noted that 18 out of 27 EU Member States had already gone beyond minimum EU requirements and provided for legal protection against sexual orientation discrimination in employment, access to public goods and services, housing and social benefits. It concluded that more comprehensive legal protection and wider powers and resources for equality bodies were required.

Report: Incident report on violent attacks against Roma in Italy

Source:FRA > Publications > List > Report: Violent attacks against Roma

This 2008 report provides information regarding the Roma, immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. The report provides facts and background information in relation to the situation of Roma in Italy, specifically the Ponticelli district.[4]

European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia

The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia was also based in Vienna. It grew from the Commission on Racism and Xenophobia (CRX), established in 1994, and also known as the Kahn Commission. The CRX was transformed into the EUMC in June 1998; officially established by Council Regulation (EC) No 1035/97 of 2 June 1997.

Publications of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia


Sources: FRA > Publications

EUMC published reports are available from the website here of the FRA, the EUMC successor agency. A selection is given below.

Report: Working Definition of Antisemitism

The EUMC published a draft of an operational definition of antisemitism in its 2005 report, called Working Definition of Antisemitism. [5] Its stated purpose was to "provide a guide for identifying incidents, collecting data and supporting the implementation and enforcement of legislation dealing with antisemitism."

Aside from the usual definitions of hatred toward Jews and physical manifestations thereof, the EUMC working definition also concludes that "such manifestations could also target the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor," "applying double standards...not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation," and "drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis."

Report: Rise in antisemitic attacks in the EU

In 2003 a report labeled 'Manifestations of antisemitism in the EU 2002 – 2003' was published.[6] It detailed a rise in attacks targeting Jewish businesses, synagogues, cemeteries and individuals. The countries with the most significant number of attacks were Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. It is the only report made by the EUMC on antisemitism.

Report: Rise of Islamophobic attacks in the EU following 9/11

The largest monitoring project ever to be commissioned regarding Islamophobia was undertaken following 9/11 by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC).

From a total of 75 reports, 15 from each member state, a synthesis report was published in May 2002. Entitled "Summary report on Islamophobia in the EU after 11 September 2001" it was co-authored by Chris Allen [1] and Professor Jørgen S. Nielsen at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.

The report highlighted occasions in which citizens abused and sometimes violently attacked Muslims. Discrimination included verbal abuse, indiscriminately accusing Muslims of responsibility for the attacks, removing women's hijab, spitting, using the name "Usama" as a pejorative epithet, and assaults.

The report concluded that "a greater receptivity towards anti-Muslim and other xenophobic ideas and sentiments has, and may well continue, to become more tolerated."[7]

See also

External links


  1. ^ Commission proposal
  2. ^ Polish homophobia reminiscent of Thatcher years, MEP says
  3. ^ Polish homophobia reminiscent of Thatcher years, MEP says
  4. ^ Incident report: Violent attacks against Roma in the Ponticelli District of Naples, Italy (August 2008)
  5. ^ Working Definition of Antisemitism (WebCite 5 January 2010), download page (WebCite 5 January 2010); see also page 19 of Beate Winkler (director EUMC), Antisemitism - Summary overview of the situation in the European Union 2001-2005 - Working Paper, May 2006, (WebCite 5 January 2010)
  6. ^ Manifestations of Antisemitism in the EU 2002-2003, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
  7. ^ ALLEN, C. & NIELSEN, J. (2002) Summary report on Islamophobia in the EU after 11 September 2001. Vienna: European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia.


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