Cooperation with International Institutions and Civil Society
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FRA/ European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

The cooperation between the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the Council of Europe is based on the FRA Founding Regulation and on the Agreement between the European Community and the CoE on cooperation between the FRA and the CoE. This agreement established a general cooperation framework with the aim to avoid duplication, ensure complementarity and bring added value to the work carried out by the Agency together with the Council of Europe.

The cooperation between the Agency and the Council of Europe is evolving and constitutes a valuable learning process helping to identify ways to establish and improve the coordination of the activities of each organisation by clarifying the different objectives of each institution, and by reinforcing the means through which these are achieved.

The key objectives and strategic priorities of the co-operation relate to the promotion and protection of human rights, as identified through a thorough exchange of views between the Agency and the Council of Europe, focusing on:

Developing joint projects in areas of mutual concern

Engaging in dialogue with stakeholders to improve the fulfilment of fundamental rights

Coordinating communication activities to increase awareness of fundamental rights

Disseminating the activities of each organisation Exchanging data and consulting each other at operational level

In accordance with Articles 12 and 13 of the Regulation and Article 17 of the Agreement, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe appoints an independent person to sit in the Management and Executive Board of the Agency. A representative of the secretariat of the Council Europe also participates to Management Board meetings as observer.

Inter-institutional co-operation also includes: consultation of the Council of Europe in the preparation of the Annual Work Programmes and of the Annual Report on the situation regarding fundamental rights in the European Union, periodical exchanges of views in the Committee of Ministersí Rapporteur Group on external Relations (GR-EXT) with the independent person appointed by the CoE, the Director and the Chair of the FRAís Management Board, and annual exchanges of views between the Director General of Human Rights and Rule of Law and the Management Board of the FRA.

At the operational level co-operation has taken different forms, for example: consultations on specific activities; regular sharing and exchange of data and information; participation in inception meetings of projects; joint projects and activities; participation in each otherís civil society structures; granting of observer status in a variety of monitoring and expert bodies; and complementarily referencing each otherís work. The contact persons appointed by the CoE and the Agency are informed of these activities.

The Human Rights Law and Policy Division is in charge of the coordination of the preparation of Council of Europe consultation and other input into the Reports and the Annual Work Programmes of the Agency. It represents the Council of Europe Secretariat in the Management Board as an observer and acts as a contact point for the Organisation.


Relevant documents

The Regulation 
The Agreement 
The Multi-annual framework for the FRA 2007-2012 
Report on co-operation between the FRA and the Council of Europe 2009/2010  
Report on co-operation between the FRA and the Council of Europe 2010/2011  
The Annual Work Programmes for the FRA