Balance between centralization and fragmentation? Background paper on human rights and equality institutions and standards in Europe published

Nov 4, 2022

The way in which human rights institutions, equality and specialized bodies are set up at the national level in European countries varies. In some countries, the model chosen is centralized while in others there is fragmentation with several different actors operating parallel. Since 1990’s, international and European standards relating to human rights, equality and specialized bodies have been developed. The European Commission’s proposal to create legally binding EU-standards for equality bodies will be published on 9 November.  

What are these standards? How do they relate to the frameworks developed at national level? What are the strengths and weaknesses of cen­tralized and fragmented systems? What is their impact?

These are some of the questions considered in the background paper 'Human rights and equality institutions in Europe: Balance between centralization and fragmentation?' commissioned by the Finnish Human Rights Centre in 2021.

This background paper complements a study on the Finnish human rights structures that was undertaken by the Human Rights Centre and published in June 2022. The background paper was drafted by Lora Vidović in close cooperation with the Human Rights Centre. Vidović has been an Ombudswoman and leader of an NHRI, and the Chair of ENNHRI (European Network of NHRIs).