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Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak in the EU - Fundamental Rights Implications

The outbreak of COVID-19 affects people’s daily life in the 27 EU Member States. As the number of infected people in the EU territory began to mount rapidly in February and March, governments put in place a raft of measures – often introduced in a period of only a few days – in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. Many of these measures reflect how, in exceptional emergency situations, the urgent need to save lives justifies restrictions on other rights, such as the freedom of movement and of assembly.

In March 2020, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) started a series of comparative reports on the impact of the Coronavirus across the 27 EU Member States. Each report is accompanied by country studies for the 27 EU Member States, which constitute background material for the comparative report and were prepared by FRA’s research network FRANET. The information and views contained in these documents do not necessarily reflect the views or the official position of the FRA. The country studies on Bulgaria are compiled by the Center for the Study of Democracy, which is member of the FRANET network since 2015.

The first report outlines some of the measures EU Member States have put in place to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic in the period 1 February – 20 March 2020. It focuses on four interrelated issues: measures to contain COVID-19 and mitigate its impact in the areas of social life, education, work, and freedom of movement, as well as asylum and migration; the impact of the virus and efforts to limit its spread on particular groups in society; incidents of xenophobic and racist discrimination, including hate crime; and the spread of disinformation concerning the outbreak and the implications of related containment measures on data protection and privacy.

This report and all national background studies are available on the FRA website here.

The second report outlines some of the measures EU Member States have put in place to protect public health during the Coronavirus pandemic. It focuses on four interrelated issues: states of emergency or equivalent measures; measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate its impact on social life, education, work, the justice system, and travel to and within the EU; the impact of the virus and efforts to limit its spread on particular groups in society, namely older persons and persons with disabilities, Roma and Travellers, detainees, and homeless persons; and how tracing apps and other technologies to monitor the spread of COVID-19 can impact fundamental rights, in particular data protection and privacy.

This report and all national background studies are available on the FRA website here.

 

 

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