Fundamental Rights Forum

Vienna, 25-27 September 2018
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights’ second Fundamental Rights Forum will take place from 25 until 27 September 2018 in Vienna under the banner of ‘belonging’.


Engage in new conversations.


Shape critical human rights agendas.


Transform complex thinking into practical solutions.

Building on the basic need for people to feel safe, secure and belong to a wider community, the Forum will bring together over 400 participants from human rights communities, the arts, business, international, national and local organisations to discuss new perspectives to pressing human rights issues and strategies:

  • How do we ensure that everyone, from the general public to the most marginalised in our societies have full access to and understanding about their human rights entitlements?
  • How can we better pass the message that rights legally apply to everyone and have meaning for everyone whether it means getting a job, education or escaping from poverty?
  • How can we connect international organisations and governments with those offering frontline support to ensure everyone feels included in our societies?
  • How can schools prepare the citizens of tomorrow to have values like tolerance and respect for others from an early age onwards?

Why a Fundamental Rights Forum?

Global threats are eroding human rights progress and commitments

This is despite 70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the EU’s very own Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The EU and its Member States are struggling to find effective answers to problems people face. Security concerns, economic worries and changing global migratory patterns are fuelling worries. In addition, the blurring of facts with fiction and mounting fears in public debate are feeding growing polarisation and ‘othering’. Populist movements are exploiting all this for their own gain. As a result society is being fragmented with some groups increasingly feeling separated, excluded and marginalised.

People in the EU risk losing their sense of belonging to the societies they live in and the values on which the EU is built. That said the 2017 EU Citizenship report shows that Europeans expect more to be done to promote common values. The Forum will be a catalyst to (re-)discover the means to ignite in our societies a passion for fairness, justice and equality.

The Forum is a unique space for dialogue on the pressing human rights challenges in the EU. Leading global and European voices from politics, human rights, international and regional intergovernmental organisations, civil society, faith communities, the arts, business, trade unions and others meet in Vienna to engage in new conversations and shape critical human rights agendas.

What can I expect from the Forum 2018?

The Forum promotes problem-solving through interactive work methodology, hands-on workshops and a series of ‘open sessions’. There will be workshops, inspiring talks, panel debates with people from different walks of life. Participants can engage in a ‘Living Library’ and try out innovative tools in a ‘Virtual zone’.

A global network of strategic high quality partners will help shape the programme. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals will be promoted throughout the Forum acknowledging how they can drive inclusive and thriving societies. They will serve as a reminder of how the EU fits into the global community. Young people inclulding children will meaningfully participate at the Forum.

So what will the Forum create?

The Forum will lead to concrete and sustainable initiatives by and with policy makers, civil society, faith communities, the arts, academia, business, trade unions and others. For example, the Agency will work with EU Member States holding the EU Presidency from 2018 to bring innovative ‘promising practices’ to complex discussions on the EU policy agenda.

The Forum will invite Members of the European Parliament to inspire them for the 2019 European Parliament election campaigns.

The Agency will present the Forum’s evidence-based advice to the European Commission to help them prepare for the new legislature as the new European Commission takes office in the second half of 2019.

The results from the workshops and panel debates, will also provide a solid basis for action by local, national, European and international human rights communities.

How can I follow the event?

Due to the capacity of the venue, participation is upon invitation only. To ensure lively and engaging discussions, FRA will select a broad range of fundamental rights concerns from around the world which you can follow live.

We will also keep the website updated with blogs, video recordings and more.

And don’t forget to follow the debate online #RightsForum18!

Fundamental Rights Forum High Patron, Alexander Van der Bellen, President of Austria


In highlighting the Agency’s important role in reminding the EU and its Member States to uphold their commitment to fundamental rights, the Austrian President, Alexander Van der Bellen, becomes High Patron of FRA’s Fundamental Rights Forum.




The Fundamental Rights Forum 2018 will take place from 25-27 September at the METAStadt in Vienna.


Dr. Otto Neurath Gasse 3
AT - 1220 Vienna

The venue can be reached by the metro line U1 to the station 'Kagran' then via tram 25 to 'Erzehog Karl Strasse' or by the metro line U2 to the station 'Hardeggasse' and then via tram 25 to 'Erzehog Karl Strasse'.
METAstadt can also be reached by train via the S80 from the 'Hauptbahnhof' (25 minutes) or 'Simmering Ostbahn' stations (17 minutes).

Messeplatz Accessibility

The meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. In case you need further assistance, please get in touch with the organisers. We will do our best to cater for your individual needs.