Fundamental rights: Commission proposes amended rules for the Fundamental Rights Agency

Today, the European Commission has proposed to amend the founding Regulation of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights. The amendments aim to clarify that the fields covered by the Agency’s activities in criminal matters are in line with the Lisbon Treaty changes that occurred in the areas of police cooperation and judicial cooperation. They also align the Agency’s founding Regulation with the current EU standards for decentralised agencies (Common Approach on EU Agencies of 2012) to enhance the efficiency, relevance and governance of the Agency.The amendments are of technical nature and based on the findings of an external evaluation of the Agency and an analysis by the Commission services. Today’s proposal does not change the Agency’s mandate or tasks. Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, said: “We rely on the Agency’s research and data analysis on fundamental rights to support our work. The amendments proposed by the Commission will enhance the Agency’s efficiency and relevance in assisting the EU institutions and the Member States on issues relating to fundamental rights.” The Commission is responding not only to recommendations following the external evaluation of the Agency but also to calls by Member States, the European Parliament and a number of other stakeholders. The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights was established under Council Regulation (EC) No 168/2007). The Agency’s objective is to provide EU institutions, bodies, offices, agencies and Member States, when implementing EU law, with assistance and expertise relating to fundamental rights in order to support them when developing evidence-based initiatives.