I’m in Vienna today at the 5th annual meeting of the Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) – a collective of over 350 Civil Society Organisations which work on a wide variety of fundamental rights issues across the European Union (EU).
Garden Court Chambers is a member of the FRP and I attended the meeting with my colleague Femi Omere.
The FRP has been formed to help ensure that the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU cooperates and engages with civil society. The FRP has also become a unique forum for knowledge and information exchange among Civil Society Organisations who are active in protecting and promoting fundamental rights.
The main topics for discussion at the 5th annual meeting are ‘victim’s rights and under-reporting’ and ‘multiple discrimination’ but there are also workshops and presentations on a wide range of other issues.
One of the main concerns of all present at the meeting is the worrying trend of member states attacking human rights institutions. The meeting is taking place at the same time as a Council of Europe meeting is being held in Brighton at which the United Kingdom government has put forward a proposal for changes to the procedure of the European Court of Human Rights. The proposal is couched in terms of improving the Court’s efficiency but would, if adopted, have a very grave effect on the jurisdiction of the Court and its capacity to protect the fundamental rights of all those living in member states which have signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights.