FRA's Amended Regulation into Force
On 5 April 2022, the Council of the EU approved the enhanced mandate for the Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Council Regulation (EU) 2022/555 of 5 April 2022 amending Regulation (EC) No 168/2007 establishing a European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights was published in the Official Journal L 108 of 7 April 2022, p. 1. One of the key novelties is that FRA is enabled to undertake own-initiative work on police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (→ news of 9 July 2021). Furthermore, the multi-annual framework to define the agency's work programme is replaced with a more operational annual and multi-annual programming. Some technical amendments are introduced in line with common principles across all EU agencies. The area of Common Foreign and Security Policy remains outside the agency's remit.
The aim of the amendments was an alignment of FRA's mandate to the Lisbon Treaty since its founding legal framework stems from the time before the Lisbon Treaty entered into force. In addition, the amendment will bring in line FRA's governance with the common EU approach on decentralised agencies.
FRA welcomed the amendment of its founding Regulation. Élise Barbé, Chair of the FRA Management Board said: “This political agreement is an important milestone for FRA." FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty said: "A stronger Fundamental Rights Agency sends a clear signal that the EU stands firmly behind its core values of equality, inclusion, democracy and justice."
The amended Regulation entered into force on 27 April 2022.