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The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is an independent EU agency set up on 1 March 2007 and based in Vienna, Austria.

Providing data for EU institutions and countries

The FRA aims to provide EU institutions and EU countries, when they implement EU law, with assistance and expertise relating to fundamental rights.

The main task of the Agency is to collect and disseminate objective, reliable and comparable data on the situation of fundamental rights in all EU countries within the scope of EU law.

The FRA is also tasked with raising awareness about fundamental rights.

The Agency is not empowered to:

  • examine individual complaints;
  • exercise regulatory decision-making powers; or
  • carry out systematic and permanent monitoring of EU countries.

The organisation and functions of the FRA are laid out in its founding Regulationpdf [100 KB] .

The Agency plans its research on the basis of annual work programmes and within the thematic areas listed in its Multiannual Frameworkspdf. The present Multiannual Framework covers the period 2007-2012.

The fight against racism, xenophobia and related intolerance is included among the main priority areas.

The composition of the Agency

The FRA works closely with other bodies and institutions, operating at both national and European level. It has a special cooperation agreement with the Council of Europepdf [108 KB] , and also cooperates with civil society through a Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP).

Geographical scope

The FRA covers the EU and its 28 EU countries.

In addition, candidate countries can participate in the work of the Agency as observers. This decision is taken by the relevant Association Council (existing for each candidate country) determining the particular nature, extent and manner of the country's participation in the FRA's work.

Croatia participates as an observer in FRA since July 2010.

The Council may also invite countries that have concluded a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU to participate in the FRA's work.

Independent external evaluation of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency

FRA commissioned an independent external evaluation of its achievements during the first five years of operations, in accordance with Article 30 of its Regulation (EC n° 168/2007)[1].

During the FRA Management Board meeting in December 2012, the external evaluator presented its final report. In accordance with Article 31 of the Regulation, the Board examined the conclusions of the evaluation and adopted recommendations on the Agency's working practices and the scope of its mission, during its meeting on 22-24 May. The Chair of the Agency's Management Board, communicated the outcome of this exercise by letter on 4 June to Vice-President Viviane Reding. The Vice-President transmitted this letter and the evaluation report to the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, on 18 June.

[1] OJ L53, 22.2.2007, p.1.