Fundamental rights: a need for a more transparent and citizen-friendly system
2010. 12. 15.
"A more transparent, user-friendly and effective functioning system in the protection of European fundamental rights should be established to cope better with the expectations of EU citizens", declared Kinga Gál MEP as the European Parliament adopted with an overwhelming majority its Annual Report on Fundamental Rights. The Report, tabled by Ms Gál, focuses on the situation of fundamental rights in the new post-Lisbon era and aims to improve synergy among the Institutions and mechanisms in the field of fundamental rights protection. Furthermore, it aims to place European citizens at the centre of the new fundamental rights architecture.
The Gál-Report, in contrast to former Annual Reports of the Parliament and in line with the current "Lisbonisation" process, concentrates on the institutional aspects of the European fundamental rights system. All the institutions should complete their own tasks accordingly, such as legislating, monitoring, awareness-raising or data-collection. "Instead of parallel functioning, these organisations should react, reflect, use and build upon each other's work in order to make their decisions consistent, objective, based on reliable data and facts, while respecting areas which fall under Member States subsidiarity competences. Certain rights should not be prioritised above others, and double standards should be avoided", highlighted Kinga Gál.
At the end of the Report, certain fundamental rights issues are listed which require urgent steps, mid-term strategies and long-term solutions. From a long list, the Rapporteur mentioned in her speech issues such as Roma integration, child-poverty, and the right to use national minority languages. Furthermore, she underlined the importance of those concrete steps, which translate the theory of fundamental rights protection into practice, such as the Directive on human trafficking. In addition, she welcomed the fact that the Report on human rights in the world and her Report are dealt with in parallel in the plenary, thus supporting a coherent EU internal and external human rights policy. The Rapporteur welcomed the Hungarian Presidency's adoption of the idea of a "Union close to its citizens" as one of its main priorities, and also mentioned in her Report. "This established architecture of fundamental rights will be as effective as the citizens can enforce it", concluded Kinga Gál MEP.