Commission consults on human rights watchdog

The European Commission has launched a public consultation exercise on plans to create an EU watchdog, ensuring that all significant legal rights available to EU citizens are respected. The Fundamental Rights Agency would replace the Vienna-based EU Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia. EU government heads have already approved the idea in principle, but decisions need to be made on the work it would carry out. Brussels wants to ask legal experts about its possible powers: whether it should be a purely advisory body, an investigative unit, or whether it should take action on behalf of citizens whose rights have been abused.

First revealed on www.thelawyer.com 10 November