Building a strong fundamental rights culture
The Fundamental Rights Forum 2016 comes at a critical moment when our human rights resolve is being tested. Europe is being challenged to find urgent responses to the continuing refugee crisis, persistent discrimination and exclusion, as well as mass intrusion into the privacy and personal data of everyday people throughout Europe. This is why we have chosen these three themes for the Forum 2016. Awareness of human rights among society is growing, thanks in part to the EU’s very own bill of rights, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Such momentum needs capturing. For example, policy makers should reinforce the implementation of our strong policy and legislative framework for human rights; business should stimulate the growing interest in corporate social responsibility, and inclusive and sustainable growth; and society should continue volunteering en masse in support of human rights. The Forum was created as an inclusive and innovative platform to draw in contributors including leading experts, policy makers and practitioners from all walks of life. The Forum will be engaging and interactive to involve and capture the views of all contributors. This includes the use of connect.reflect.act - Talks, panel debates, participant voting, participatory workshops, lively debates from speakers with opposing views, and a market place of ideas where organisations can come and display their work. Based on the principle that a multi-stakeholder, systematic and futureoriented approach is essential to ensure the enjoyment of fundamental rights for everyone in the EU, the Forum encourages all actors to strengthen the protection and promotion of fundamental rights across the EU.