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The Fundamental Rights Officer’s Annual Report 2021

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Executive summary

The Fundamental Rights Officer’s Annual Report provides an overview of the activities carried out by the Fundamental Rights Office − including the Fundamental Rights Monitors − in 2021. It outlines the main observations and recommendations provided to the Agency, the Executive Director, and the Management Board throughout the year. The recommendations are increasingly informed by the various tools, including monitoring in the field, complaints, and serious incident reporting. This Annual Report also provides an update on the implementation of the Fundamental Rights Strategy and its Action Plan both adopted in 2021.

The Fundamental Rights Officer is mandated by the Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 to perform a range of tasks, including monitoring the Agency’s compliance with fundamental rights and reporting possible violations, promoting the inclusion of fundamental rights in the activities of the Agency, and providing advice and recommendations. Additionally, the Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 requires that the Fundamental Rights Officer publishes annual reports on his or her activities and on the extent to which the activities of the Agency respect fundamental rights, including information on the Complaints Mechanism and the implementation of the Fundamental Rights Strategy, as per Article 109(4).

The Annual Report is outlined in five chapters. The first chapter gives an overview of the fundamental rights monitoring conducted within the Agency’s operational activities in the reporting period, as well as the observed issues and challenges encountered by the team of the Fundamental Rights Office, including the newly recruited Fundamental Rights Monitors. The second chapter focuses on the reporting and accountability mechanisms, and the fundamental rights safeguards guiding the work of the Fundamental Rights Office. It outlines the most-recent developments on the improvement of such instruments. The third chapter provides a brief overview of capacity building activities and new technologies. The fourth chapter gives an account of the internal process strengthened during the year and the cooperation of the Fundamental Rights Office with internal units for the purpose of enhancing the fundamental rights compliance of the Agency, as well as an update on the work in collaboration with the Consultative Forum. The fifth and last chapter provides an overview of the work of the Fundamental Rights Office in 2021, in line with the Fundamental Rights Action Plan, following up on the recommendations from different entities and advisory working groups. Finally, the conclusive chapter includes the Fundamental Rights Officer’s planned actions and priorities for 2022.