The Council of Europe and the New Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU - Ensuring Mandates Don't Overlap
Sunday, March 19, 2006 8:05 PM

With plans underway to create an EU Fundamental Rights Agency to replace the EU Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia in Vienna, the EU has had to work in conjunction with the Council of Europe to ensure that the mandate of the new agency does not overlap with that of the Council's. The Council of Europe and the EU are currently in talks to find a solution to this problem. The Council of Europe argues that it is better positioned to deal with human rights monitoring as it is the oldest body of that kind in the world, with current membership that includes all European states, except Belarus; it does, however, support a human rights agency as part of the EU. The new EU agency will assess community laws and their effects on human rights as well as improve dialogue between human rights agencies, EU institutions and member states. Main concerns include the lack of decision-making power that the new institution will have, as well as its limited mandate. The shift from the previous body to the Fundamental Rights Agency is set to take place in 2007.

Compiled from: “EU and Council of Europe in talks over new fundamental rights agency,” Lisbeth Kirk,, 16 March 2003