Need to avoid duplication of the work of the Council of Europe by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
- Parliamentary Assembly
- Assembly debate on 5 October 2010
(31st Sitting) (see Doc.
12272, report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human
Rights, rapporteur: Mr Cilevičs). Text
adopted by the Assembly on 5 October 2010 (31st Sitting).
See also Recommendation
The Parliamentary Assembly recalls
that, in its Resolution
and its Recommendation 1744 (2006)
, it expressed
its concerns about the duplication of certain Council of Europe tasks
by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (the Agency).
2. The Assembly notes that, even though the Agency’s founding
regulation and the 2008 Agreement on co-operation between the Agency
and the Council of Europe, provide for some safeguards aimed at
avoiding duplication of tasks, such a risk still exists in principle
and concerns remain as to the risk of confusion in interpreting
human rights standards in the 27 Council of Europe member states
belonging also to the European Union. That is why the rapid accession
of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS
No. 5) is indispensable.
3. However, the Assembly notes that the current context is different
from the one in which its previous texts were adopted: since 2007,
the Agency and the Council Europe have established appropriate forms
of co-operation. Both institutions use different tools in conducting
their daily activities. The Agency’s data collection and evidence-based
analysis may complement the work undertaken by the Council of Europe,
and in particular by the latter’s monitoring bodies.
4. The Assembly stresses, however, that such fruitful co-operation
in the future is dependent on the Council of Europe’s acquis in the area of human rights
protection at the European level being used as the main point of
reference in the Agency’s work.
5. The Assembly also notes that, following the entry into force
of the European Union Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009 and the adoption
by the European Union Council of the “Stockholm Programme” in December
2009, the Agency’s substantive remit has been considerably expanded.
The Assembly also notes with interest that the European Union has
appointed a Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship.
The Assembly calls upon European Union member states and institutions
to take all necessary measures to avoid unnecessary duplication
of tasks of the Council of Europe by the Agency, in particular by:
6.1 ensuring that, in areas in which
both the Council of Europe and the Agency conduct activities such
as monitoring and/or data collection, the activities of both organisations
complement each other and generate added value;
6.2 applying the co-operation methods established in the relevant
legal instruments concerning the functioning of the Agency and its
relations with the Council of Europe, and in particular the 2008
6.3 ensuring that the Council of Europe’s acquis in the area of human rights
protection is always used as the main point of reference in the
6.4 consulting the Council of Europe at an early stage when
drafting its strategic documents such as the annual programmes and
the multi-annual framework;
6.5 reflecting once again on the allocation of financial and
other resources to the different European human rights protection
mechanisms in order to distribute them in a way which ensures their
most effective use.
7. The Assembly regrets that the funding of the Council of Europe
core human rights activities is extremely low in comparison with
that of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.