On 1 March 2007, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) was established on the basis of Council Regulation 168/2007. The Agency’s objective is to provide the relevant institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Community and the Member States with assistance and expertise relating to fundamental rights in order to support them when they take measures or formulate courses of action within their respective spheres of competence to fully respect fundamental rights.
Since November 2007 the Agency is supported by national teams of independent legal experts in each of the Member States. The role of the legal experts is to collect relevant data, particularly official statistical data and information on case law, as well as examples of good practice.
In January 2008, the FRA decided on a Multiannual Framework Programme and determined its thematic areas of work as follows: racism and xenophobia; discrimination; compensation of victims; the rights of the child; asylum and immigration; visa and border control; participation of EU citizens in the Union's democratic functioning; data protection; and access to justice.
Upon the Agency’s request the Austrian legal experts of BIM in 2008 provided national studies on homophobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation, trafficking of children as well as on national human rights institutions; an international study on national human rights institutions; as well as three quarterly bulletins and a report on the situation of the Agency’s thematic focus areas in Austria.