Vienna, 16 July 2013 – "We are in favour of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights putting more emphasis on the preservation of rule of law in the EU member states in future. Rule of law starts at home. If the EU wants to have credibility as a global defender of the rule of law, we will have to give priority to this issue also within the Union. Rule of law is a fundamental principle of Austria's foreign policy. We therefore support the proposal that the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights should develop indicators for the observance of rule of law standards in the member states", State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka said on the occasion of his meeting with Morten Kjaerum, the Director of the EU Agency domiciled in Vienna.
"The Agency for Fundamental Rights plays an important role as an observer of tendencies such as racism, anti-semitism, intolerance and discrimination. It provides the necessary data and facts to counter these tendencies. Together with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Agency for Fundamental Rights illustrates the strong role that Vienna as the place of domicile of these organisations plays in the promotion and protection of human rights", Lopatka said.
Over the past few years, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency has developed into an outstanding institution with a unique mandate for monitoring fundamental rights in the EU. In a recent evaluation carried out by external consultants, the work of the Agency received a highly positive assessment. “I am happy that Morten Kjaerum will continue his successful work as the Director of the Agency for Fundamental Rights for another three years”, Lopatka concluded.
Contact:Federal Ministry for European and International AffairsPress Department Tel.: +43 (0) 50 1150-3320Fax: +43 (0) 50 1159-213 abti3(at)bmeia.gv.at