FRANET is multidisciplinary research network of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).
FRANET was established in 2011 for the purpose of data collection and research services on fundamental rights issues. Within the FRANET network, the contractors deliver various thematic reports and monthly-bulletins with respect to specific fundamental rights issues in each EU country concerned. The national FRANET teams also contribute to the annual Fundamental Rights Report compiled by FRA. As from 2019 the Institute for Human Rights at Åbo Akademi University and the Faculty of Law at the University of Turku form the national focal point of FRANET. Between 2011-2018 the Institute for Human Rights cooperated with the Finnish League for Human Rights within the FRANET network. Below is a selection of some of the most recent FRA reports which the Finnish FRANET team has contributed to.
Most recent reports
The report outlines some of the measures EU Member States have put in place to protect public health as Europe faces the ‘second wave’ of the Coronavirus pandemic. It highlights how these may affect fundamental rights, especially social rights, including the right to health, education, work and housing. The report covers the period 1 September – 31 October 2020.
During the reporting period many Member States reintroduced or extended states of emergency as the health situation deteriorated. Restrictions on freedom of assembly increased, and many Member States also restricted movement within their national borders. The pandemic continued to have a huge impact on the economies and labour markets of the Member States, resulting in rising levels of unemployment, especially among young people and women. The tourism, hospitality, arts and entertainment sectors were particularly affected in several countries. After the summer break, schools started again with in-person teaching, but due to rising infection rates many reinstated distance learning, posing challenges to the right to education and non-discrimination. The impact of visiting bans on residents’ wellbeing remained a grave concern for people living in institutions. Migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, often living in overcrowded accommodation with poor hygiene conditions, continued to face increased risk of infection and barriers to accessing health services.
The fourth FRA Bulletin on how the Coronavirus pandemic affects fundamental rights in EU Member States covers measures in place in June 2020. During the reporting period, many governments continued to lift states of emergency, but imposed other crisis measures instead. This prompted concerns about the legal basis for such measures and on-going limitations on fundamental rights. While many restrictions on the daily life of people were gradually relaxed, constraints such as physical distancing measures remain in place. The report surveys the impact of the containment measures on public life, education, work and travel and on vulnerable groups such as people in institutional settings, older persons, persons with disabilities, Roma and Travellers, detainees, and victims of domestic violence. In its closing chapter, the report provides updated information on some of the specific fundamental rights issues addressed in previous Bulletins, namely racism and xenophobia; asylum and migration; disinformation; and data protection and privacy.
This third FRA Bulletin on the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic across the EU Member States outlines some of the measures that the states have adopted to ease the restrictions imposed at the start of the pandemic while continuing to mitigate the spread of the virus. It covers measures in place in May 2020. The report looks at declarations of states of emergency, including how and under what circumstances Member States began to lift them. It considers the impact of the pandemic and containment measures on the daily life of people and on particular vulnerable groups, such as persons with disabilities, detainees, homeless people and victims of domestic violence. As a specific question, the report focuses on the rights of older people, looking into issues such as access to treatment and testing, the situation in institutional settings, access to services and the impact of isolation. While certain measures were important to reduce the risk to health and life of older people by preventing infection, they raised questions about potential discrimination on the grounds of age. As our societies reopen, governments should take care of the needs of older people as the passage to the ‘new normal’ will likely be slower and more difficult for them.
Fundamental Rights Report 2020 (June 2020)
The Fundamental Rights Report 2020 reflects on the main developments and shortfalls of human rights protection in the EU Member States in 2019. The particular topics covered are: equality and non-discrimination; racism and related intolerance; Roma equality and inclusion; asylum, borders and migration; information society, privacy and data protection; rights of the child; access to justice; and implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Some of the key challenges identified in the report are fundamental rights at borders, child poverty, and fundamental rights considerations in the use of artificial intelligence (AI).
In a separate focus section, the report highlights the EU Fundamental Rights Charter, which has been legally binding on the EU Member States for 10 years. Nationally, the awareness and use of the Charter remain limited. However, national courts are increasingly making use of the Charter.
The report reviews the fundamental rights aspects of emergency measures the EU Member States have taken to manage the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the impact of such measures on the daily life of people and on particular vulnerable groups. As a specific question, it looks into governments’ use of technology to help monitor and track the spread of the virus and highlights rights-respectful approaches to such use of technology.
This is the second FRA report in a series of four monthly reports on the impact of the Coronavirus disease across the 27 EU Member States. It covers measures in place from 21 March until 30 April 2020.
The report Coronavirus pandemic in the EU: fundamental rights implications looks at the measures EU Member States use to address the pandemic to highlight rights-respectful approaches that other Member States can learn from. It focuses on four issues underlining the need to carefully and regularly assess the impact on people’s fundamental rights as governments react to the ever-developing pandemic. These issues are: 1) impact on daily life; 2) impact on particular vulnerable groups; 3) discrimination and racism; and 4) disinformation and data protection. The report shows that government measures to combat COVID-19 have profound implications for everybody’s fundamental rights, including the right to life and to health.
This is the first in a series of four monthly reports on the impact of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) across the 27 EU Member States. It looks at the impact of government measures in place in February and March on people’s fundamental rights.
Criminal Detention in the EU (December 2019)
The European Commission asked FRA to compile information on prison conditions and monitoring across all EU Member States to assist judicial authorities when deciding on transferring detainees to another EU Member State. The Criminal detention conditions in the European Union: rules and reality report was published in December 2019. It outlines selected minimum standards at international and European levels, and how they translate into national laws. FRA used reports from national monitoring bodies and interviews from previous research to illustrate how detention conditions vary across the Member States.
FRA’s new online criminal detention database complements the report. The database contains national standards, laws and monitoring reports on detention conditions from across the EU as well as country studies prepared by the national FRANET teams.
Fundamental Rights Report 2019 (June 2019)
The Fundamental Rights Report 2019 explores the main developments of 2018 in the protection of fundamental rights in the EU Member States, particularly in the following areas: equality and non-discrimination; racism, xenophobia and related intolerance; Roma integration; asylum, borders and migration; information society, privacy and data protection; rights of the child; access to justice; implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and the role and usage of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights at national level. Some of the key issues of concern identified in the report include the need for further measures to reduce child poverty; national action to fight racism and racial discrimination; and respect for EU asylum law and human rights in the context of asylum and return procedures. This year’s report also dedicates its focus chapter to the interrelationship between human rights and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the context of Member States’ and the EU’s internal policies and takes a closer look at the SDGs related to reducing inequality and promoting peace, justice and strong institutions.
The report provides a comparative overview of the application of some of the rights deriving from EU citizenship, in particular the right to move and reside freely in other Member States, the right not to be discriminated on the basis of nationality and the right to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal and European Parliament elections. Based on a review and analysis of select case law of national courts, the report shows how courts in different countries vary in the interpretation of the key EU provisions regulating EU citizens’ rights. These include the definition of a family member, sufficient resources, or when they can receive benefit. This can affect people’s everyday life, their family, career and well-being. FRA’s research covered all 28 EU Member States. FRA’s inter-disciplinary research network FRANET collected the case law between February and June of 2017.
EU Member States, and the EU itself have ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, committing themselves to achieving independent living for persons with disabilities. Doing so requires a meaningful and sustainable shift from institutional to community-based living arrangements. This publication summarises the findings from the three FRA reports, published in October 2017, focusing on three important factors in making deinstitutionalisation a reality: commitments and structure, budgeting and financing, and measuring outcomes for persons with disabilities.