European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

European Fundamental Rights Agency opens its doors – concerns still remain

On the 1st March 2007, the new European Fundamental Rights Agency will start its work. The European Fundamental Rights Agency will work to ensure the European Convention of Human Rights and the European Union Charter on Fundamental Rights is applied properly in the application of laws adopted by EU. The Regulation establishing the Agency whose tasks would be to provide information and data on fundamental rights was published yesterday.

In the last three years ILGA-Europe has followed closely and took part in the debates around this Agency. It has expressed its disappointment at the lack of involvement of civil society in the process and the lack of the Agency’s independence from the EU member states.

ILGA-Europe believes that in order to ensure credibility of this Agency, it is important that the persons who will be appointed by the states on the management board of the Agency are truly independent and have a strong record and expertise on human rights. The director needs to be a committed, well known and uncontroversial human rights defender.

It is further necessary to involve NGOs in the work of the Agency through the Fundamental Rights Platform and through regular consultations and cooperation.

Patricia Prendiville, Execute Director of ILGA-Europe, said:

“We welcome the beginning of this important new EU institution which will monitor the application of the European human rights principles in the application of European legislation. We hope that the Agency in executing its mandate will employ an integrated approach when dealing with cases of fundamental rights, equality and anti-discrimination. In many instances human rights violations have also discriminatory elements. This is in particular the case in the banning of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Pride marches which occurred in the EU member states in the recent years.”

Ends

For more information please contact
Juris Lavrikovs at + 32 2 609 54 16 / + 32 496 708 375

Notes for editors:

(1) ILGA-Europe is the European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association and works for equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Europe.

(2) The Council Regulation establishing the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights is available at the Official Journal of the European Union website: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/JOHtml.do?uri=OJ:L:2007:053:SOM:EN:HTML

(3) More information on ILGA-Europe work related to the Fundamental Rights Agency on our website: www.ilga-europe.org/europe/advocacy_lobbying/human_rights_mechanisms/fun...