Strengthening the fundamental rights architecture in the EU
I, National Human Rights Institutions in the EU Member States
This report maps the situation in EU Member States with a view to the crucial role played by NHRIs in the ﬁ eld of fundamental rights. In all Member States – those with NHRIs in compliance with the Paris Principles, as well as those lacking an NHRI – the report reveals a rather fragmented setting with a variety of institutions promoting and protecting aspects of human rights in various ways. This is of particular concern in those Member States that lack an NHRI that could ensure that gaps in mandates or powers are addressed. This report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights... (FRA), is intended to identify gaps and concerns in the fundamental rights architecture in the European Union. Data protection authorities, equality bodies, and national human rights institutions all constitute a cornerstone in this architecture. In fact, four of the 16 accredited NHRIs in EU Member States also serve as Equality Bodies as provided for by EU law (Belgium, The Netherlands, Slovakia, and United Kingdom). This report will also increase awareness in EU institutions and in EU Member States of NHRIs and to underscore their importance as a central part of a comprehensive fundamental rights architecture in the European Union. With the Treaty of Lisbon, the accession to the European Convention on Human Rights, and the legally binding nature of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, a more comprehensive and systematic promotion and protection of fundamental rights should be supported within the European Union – which must include NHRIs. These four reports by European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) look at closely related issues, institutions, and EU legislation, which contribute to the overarching architecture of fundamental rights in the European Union. The building blocks of this fundamental rights landscape are the data protection authorities and national human rights institutions (NHRIs), as well as Equality Bodies set up under the Racial Equality Directive (2000/43/EC).