2010. 11. 25.
Yesterday, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament adopted with a significant majority the report on situation of fundamental rights in the European Union presented by MEP Kinga Gál. The report aims to create synergy, thus making mechanisms and processes concerning fundamental rights in the EU, already existed or introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, more transparent and effective.
In her report, Kinga Gál, Vice-President of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee introduces new aspects compared to the former annual reports of the EP on fundamental rights, in line with the "new momentum" after the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty. The Rapporteur encounters the instruments available for the European citizens to exercise their fundamental rights both on national and international level and the ones available for the EU institutions to be used in their policy making processes.
The legal achievements since the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009 have fundamentally changed the face of the European Union. The three new pillars of the fundamental rights system having thus become: the legally binding Charter of Fundamental Rights; the rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights, recognition of which flows from the Union’s obligation to accede; and the rights based on the Member States’ constitutional traditions.
While the EU is becoming more and more a community of common values, the institutions have so far spoken parallel in the field of fundamental rights protection - states the Report. Therefore the overall aim is to clarify the roles and responsibilities of each to be able to cope better with the expectations of EU citizens and to become really transparent, user-friendly and effective.
All the institutions, the Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, the Council, the national governments or the Fundamental Rights Agency should complete its own tasks, such as legislating, monitoring or the data-collection, in order to effectively protect the fundamental rights of citizens - points out the report. It is of utmost importance that instead of parallel functioning, the institutions should react and reflect, furthermore use and build upon each other's work in order to bring their decisions consistently, objectively and based on reliable data and facts. The report additionally suggests that the Fundamental Rights Agency’s remit could be revised in the future so that they are able to deal with the new challenges of the post-Lisbon era.
The European Commission should not permit human rights trespasses within the EU, committed either by the EU-institutions or by member states. Therefore the report emphasizes those fundamental rights issues which require urgent steps, mid-term strategies and long term solutions, such as among others the Roma integration, the child-poverty or the right to use national minority languages. The Gál Report will be voted in the plenary in December.