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

Limited scope of new Fundamental Rights Agency is disappointing

This week Ministers of Justice of the European Union’s member states reached an agreement on the new Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA). Formally the deal will be sealed next week when the heads of all EU member states meet in Brussels. The FRA is due to start its work in January 2007.

ILGA-Europe, along with a number of national and European organisations, worked actively since 2003 to ensure the FRA becomes a powerful EU tool to uphold the principles of equality and human rights. However ILGA-Europe is concerned by its limited scope since it excludes the whole range of issues covered by the so-called ‘third pillar’ namely - cooperation in justice and policing. Experience has shown that these are precisely the areas open to severe human rights violations.

ILGA-Europe is also concerned with the lack of consideration for civil society in the process of creation of the FRA and its limited inclusion in the work and the organisation of the FRA.

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

“There are serious limitations which cause disappointment. We believe the EU has missed a great opportunity to establish a powerful institution guarding the principles of equality and respect for human rights. ILGA-Europe will of course continue working with all relevant institutions and the Agency itself to ensure recent eruption of homophobia in various corners of the EU is dealt with firmly and without compromise. Equality and respect for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people living in Europe must be fully integrated into the work of the new Fundamental Rights Agency.”

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) 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...