On 10 June 2020, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) released its Fundamental Rights Report 2020. FRC, as FRA’s national contractor, contributed to the report by providing information regarding fundamental rights in Belgium in the year of 2019. The report focuses on equality and non-discrimination; racism, xenophobia and related intolerance; Roma equality and inclusion; asylum, borders and migration; information society, privacy and data protection; child rights; access to justice; and implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. Furthermore, a special section is dedicated to evaluating the implementation of the EU Charter of fundamental rights by EU states.
In the Belgian report, FRC highlighted many events, such as the establishment of the Executive Committee of the Belgian Data Protection Authority, followed by the Authority’s first decision to apply a financial sanction; changes to the Criminal Code to better address racism and xenophobia; new laws that were enacted to assist victims of crime; the rights of foreign minors who reach the age of 18 in the country; as well as many other important developments that took place in Belgium last year.
After analysing developments in 2019, the FRA called on EU member states to ensure national data protection authorities receive sufficient resources to allow them to carry out their mandates; encouraged them to continue their efforts to effectively implement victims’ rights in practice; and stated that Member States should ensure that sanctions for discriminatory acts are sufficiently effective, proportionate and dissuasive; as well as published many of other recommendations as outlined in their opinions.