FRAME Fostering Human Rights Among European Policies



European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation

EIUC is a European interdisciplinary centre formed by 41 universities from all EU Member States which organises the European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation (E.MA). It is founded on a commitment to the realisation of the values enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the promotion of high-level inter-disciplinary human rights education, research, training and culture as well as a shared global understanding of human rights and democracy. By facilitating a pan-European pooling of expertise, EIUC’s mission is to foster a community of scholars, researchers and professionals, with the problem-solving capacities and creativity to promote democracy and the implementation of human rights worldwide. Supported by the EU, EIUC’s activities include: a) providing high level action-oriented and interdisciplinary education for students worldwide; b) developing advanced training with a view to meeting operational requirements for human rights professionals; c) identifying processes and means of transferring academic and institutional expertise into the public sphere; d) representing a network of more than 1000 graduates of the European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation; and e) creating a fertile environment for research and research cooperation and the transformation of results into realistic policies. This last component is implemented through: a) organising in Venice Ph.D. seminars dedicated to professors and researchers from the partner universities and aiming at discussing research projects and doctoral theses on human rights-related subjects; b) organising the ‘Venice Academy of Human Rights’. The Academy offers an enriching interdisciplinary programme open to academics, practitioners and Ph.D/J.S.D. students from all over the world who have an advanced knowledge of human rights. By involving prominent experts (Nobel prizes, world-wide renown academics) it provides a forum to participate in critical and useful research, innovation and exchange; c) European Parliament Studies: upon participation in relevant tenders, EIUC has been commissioned by the European Parliament the drafting of a number of studies related to EU human rights policies; d) EIUC Publications, including the EIUC Human Rights series published by Cambridge University Press (volumes on United Nations Reform and the New Collective Security; Economic Globalisation and Human Rights; Local Relevance of Human Rights) and collective volumes involving all EIUC national directors such as V. Jaichand and M. Suksi (eds.), 60 Years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Europe (Intersentia, 2009).


The European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) is an interdisciplinary centre of excellence formed by 41 universities from all European Union Member States. It was founded in 2002 on a commitment to the realisation of the values promoted by the EU, the promotion of high-level inter-disciplinary human rights education, research, training and culture, and a shared global understanding of human rights and democracy. EIUC is located in Venice, Italy.


Horst Fischer

Horst Fischer is the President of EIUC since December 2002 and was the first Chairperson of the European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation (E.MA) from 1997 to 2000. Horst Fischer is also Director of the Brussels Office of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH since 2007 and Academic Director of the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (Institut für Friedenssicherungsrecht und Humanitäres Völkerrecht / IFHV) at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany. His further positions include those of Professor of International Humanitarian Law at Leiden University in the Netherlands, and adjunct Professor at SIPA/Columbia University, New York. From 1996 to 2004 he was the General Editor of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law. Horst Fischer covers also the following key posts in the area of human rights, humanitarian law, and humanitarian action: Co-founder in 1993 and since 1999 President of the ECHO-funded NOHA-Association in Brussels; Co-founder of the European University Network comprising of 60 universities ‘HUMANET’ focusing on issues of humanitarian activities; Adviser for international affairs for the German Red Cross since 1986 and the Netherlands Red Cross since 2001; President of the Berghof Peace Foundation Board in Berlin since 2001; Member of the Board of the German Red Cross since November 2009.


Florence Benoît-Rohmer

Born in Strasbourg, Florence Benoît-Rohmer holds a PhD in Public Law. President of the Université Robert Schuman (URS), Strasbourg, from 2003 to 2008, Florence Benoît-Rohmer is Professor at the Law Faculty in Strasbourg. She is Director of the Master programme in Human Rights at the University of Strasbourg and has served as Vice-President of EIUC from 2002 till 2008 and as French national director of the European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (E.MA) since its inception in 1997. Florence Benoît-Rohmer has been acting as human rights expert for the Council of Europe and EU, was member of the European Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights set up by the European Commission, and is currently president of the Scientific Committee of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU. She is also member of the scientific committees of several international journals specialised in human rights, and in particular minority rights. Her research interests range from the study of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, to the European Convention on Human Rights, Constitutional Rights in Central and Eastern European countries, and national minority rights.

Among her numerous publications may be mentioned:

  • 1. “The minority question in Europe for the Council of Europe Publications” (1989);
  • 2. “La question minoritaire en Europe: vers un système cohérent de protection des minorités nationales”; (Strasbourg 1996);
  • 3. “Les minorités, quels droits? ”, Council of Europe Publication (Strasbourg 1999);
  • 4. “L’égalité dans la typologie des droits de l’homme”, in “Classer les droits de l’homme”, edited with Bruylant in 2004.
  • 5. For the collection of the Robert Schuman University – Institut de recherches Carré de Malberg, she published in 2003 “Les droits sociaux ou la démolition de quelques poncifs” (edited with Constance Grewe).
  • 6. In 2005 she published for the Council of Europe a work titled “Council of Europe Law: Towards a Pan-European Legal Area”, co-edited with Heinrich Klebes, (Strasbourg 2005), which is going to be re-edited in 2009.

KarolinaKarolina Podstawa

Karolina Podstawa is a senior researcher on the FRAME project based at the EIUC in Venice. She holds a PhD from the European University Institute and MAs in Law and Administration (2008), English Language and Literature (2009) from the University of Łódź, Poland as well as the EUI (2009). She acted as a project manager for the EUI based Centre for Judicial Cooperation where she dealt with and contributed substantively both to internally and externally funded projects. Within this framework she organized and conducted quasi-training activities for judges collaborating widely with international judicial organizations and national judicial entities.

Previously, as an in-house lawyer she dealt with liberalization of the Polish telecommunications market and more recently she served in the Office of Personal Data Protection Authority in Poland (GIODO).

Her research interests lie in the area of internal and external human rights policies of the European Union (external policy tools were a subject of her PhD thesis), data protection, judicial dialogue and cooperation.

veronikaVeronika Haász

Veronika Haász joined EIUC as a Junior Researcher on the FRAME project in September 2015. She graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Pécs (Hungary) and she holds an LL.M. in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from the European University Viadrina (Germany). Currently, she is Ph.D. candidate at the University of Vienna (Austria). Her research focuses on national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, with special regard to the institutions’ role in the UN human rights framework and to the transformation of ombudsman institutions to National Human Rights Institutions.

She gained working experiences at the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), at the German Institute for Human Rights, in the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights Policy at the German Federal Foreign Office, in the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights Matters at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and in the Office of the Commissioner for Educational Rights in Hungary.

Chiara Altafin

Chiara Altafin is a senior researcher on the FRAME Project based at the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) in Venice. She holds a Ph.D in International Law from the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, an LL.M in Comparative, European and International Law from the EUI, a Master’s Degree in Rule of Law, Democracy and Human Rights from LUISS University in Rome, and a Law Degree (summa cum laude) from Roma Tre University. She was a visiting research scholar at the Center for International and Comparative Law of the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor. Her doctoral dissertation examines the role, function and adequacy of public international law to deal with civilians’ access to, enjoyment and progressive realization of economic, social and cultural rights as controversially affected during and in the aftermath of contemporary scenarios of armed conflict and contexts of occupied territories.

At EIUC she also was E.MA Teaching Fellow specialising in International Law for the academic year 2015/2016. Over the last nine years Chiara has worked as research and teaching assistant to the chairs of International Law, International Criminal Law, Human Rights and International Protection, International Organizations and Human Rights, at the Departments of Law and of Political Science of LUISS University in Rome. She was a member of the LUISS research team on the 7FP PRIV-WAR Project on “Regulating privatisation of ‘war’: the role of the EU in assuring the compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights” (2008-2011). Chiara has conducted research and editorial activities for the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in Rome, in particular concerning contemporary piracy, the conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh, coercive diplomacy and sanctions in international law. Before becoming a qualified lawyer before the Italian Bar Association, she worked as a trainee lawyer at Avvocatura Generale dello Stato in Rome.