Fundamental Rights Forum Patron, Heinz Fischer, President of Austria
I would like to congratulate the Fundamental Rights Agency on its initiative to establish a Fundamental Rights Forum in Vienna, providing a unique possibility to bring together European and international human rights decision-makers, activists and rights holders.
Not least in view of the extraordinary challenges of the current migration crisis we need to keep a strong focus on the basic values and principles our societies are based on: human rights, equality and intercultural understanding.
In order to further develop a comprehensive and strong human rights culture in our societies we need more than the mere knowledge of a set of rules and principles. Above all, we need to develop the corresponding attitude and behaviour. Human rights exist to the degree that they are respected by people in their relations with each other, and by governments with regard to their citizens.
I am confident that the Fundamental Rights Forum will provide some important inputs and proposals on how to better achieve this goal.