Human Rights Law and Evidence-Based Policy: The Role of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency

1st Edition

Rosemary Byrne, Han Entzinger

December 6, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 296 Pages
ISBN 9780367186999 - CAT# K413094
Series: Routledge Research in Human Rights Law

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The EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) was established to provide evidence-based policy advice to EU institutions and Member States. By blending social science research with traditional normative work, it aims to influence human rights policy processes through new ways of framing empirical realities. The contributors to this volume critically examine the experience of the Agency in its first decade. Five core themes emerge from their exploration of FRA’s historical, political and legal foundations and its evolving record across major thematic areas of EU fundamental rights. How does the Agency manage the tension between a mandate to advise and the more traditional approach of human rights bodies to ‘monitor’, and how does research impact this delicate equilibrium between contesting roles? What does this first ‘embedded’ human rights agency suggest for alternative, and less oppositional orientations for human rights research? A technocratic approach to human rights research is a hallmark of FRA’s evidence-based policy advice, but what are its benefits and constraints? As an institution whose policy work requires a continued awareness to political realties in Brussels and Member States, but also sensitivity to its stakeholders in civil society, who determines the Agency’s research agenda? Lastly, to what extent do FRA’s strategic choices that shape its research and policy advice reflect the priorities of EU institutions as well as the expectations and sensitivities of the, then, 28 widely diverse Member States? These five themes point to the pioneering position of the Agency in new forms of institutionalized human rights research.

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