The FRAME toolbox for the EU fundamental and human rights policies
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This report aims to guide the readers in a simplified way through the EU human rights toolbox that was mapped and analysed in the FRAME authors’ previous work. The present report is divided into two main parts: the first part contains the main findings of the earlier research done on the EU’s human rights toolbox, the second part accommodates eight factsheets, each presenting one set of tools. In the first part, the report recalls the authors’ understanding of the definition of ‘toolbox’ that was interpreted by FRAME researchers in different ways. In this regard, the traditional internal-external tools division seems to be no longer adequate. This is especially visible in the second part of the report that breaks with this division when representing the eight categories of tools. The initial part also explains the seven assumptions (recommendations) that guided the authors, and that can be considered as findings of their previous research. The authors believe that the EU policy toolbox is overflowing and requires simplification. More attention and effort should be placed on the implementation of EU policies. Similarly, more effective monitoring and evaluation is needed. As stated above, the internal-external divide on human rights must be bridged for better human rights promotion and protection in and by the EU. The authors also emphasise the importance of the Charter of Fundamental Rights that shall be considered as a solid reference point in achieving EU policy objectives. It is also essential to leave some flexibility in policy options that enable the EU institutions to react according to the circumstances. Here the authors refer to the Cotonou Agreement. The final guiding principle is the changing of approach from imposing policies on legal subjects across and beyond the EU, to engaging them that makes it possible to build the EU together. Three main recommendations close the first part of the report. The authors make suggestions for the simplification of the EU human rights toolbox. They point to two guiding principles, resilience and sustainability, as key to the use of the human rights toolbox within and beyond the EU. They also explain that vertical and horizontal coherence in the use of the toolbox are necessary components contributing to the overall success of the EU human rights policies. The second part of the report presents eight factsheets as categories of EU human rights policy tools. Each factsheet contains a brief description of the tools and concrete examples identified by FRAME research. The easy-to-read factsheets also formulate recommendations, first of all to the EU institutions, i.e. the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the Council of the EU, as well as to the decision makers of the Member States.