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Report

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

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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. The report covers the period 21 March – 30 April 2020.

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

The third report outlines some of the measures EU Member States have put in place to protect public health during the Coronavirus pandemic and examines aspects of the pandemic’s impact on older people. It highlights how the different measures may affect fundamental rights. 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 persons with disabilities, detainees, homeless people and victims of domestic violence; and the impact of the pandemic on the fundamental rights of older persons – as a specific focus. The report covers the period 1 – 31 May 2020.

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

The fourth report outlines some of the measures EU Member States have put in place to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic and to safely reopen their societies and economies while continuing to mitigate the spread of the virus. The report is divided into two main parts. The first one covers the period 1 – 30 June 2020 and focuses on three 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; and 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. The second part covers a longer period (21 March – 30 June 2020) and explores the developments in three specific areas: incidents of xenophobic and racist discrimination, including hate crime; spread of disinformation concerning the outbreak; and the implications of containment measures on data protection and privacy.

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

The fifth report on COVID-19 documents the situation of Roma and Travellers in 15 EU Member States from 1 March to 30 June 2020. It looks at the specific implications of the pandemic on the biggest European minority, which also happens to be the most vulnerable to poverty, exclusion, discrimination and violation of fundamental rights. It populates a set of key socio-economic indicators with data from FRA’s surveys to provide the overall context of the challenges encountered in areas such as employment, education and housing.

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

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