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E.U. launches rights agency

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The European Union launched a new human rights agency that will monitor anti-Semitism, among other duties. The Fundamental Rights Agency, established Thursday in Vienna, will focus on guaranteeing that the human rights of those
living in the 27-member European Union are respected and protected by national
governments.

The agency, which will track
instances of discrimination in Europe, including anti-Semitism, has a broader mandate than the agency it replaces, the Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia.

Critics say the new agency is too similar to the Council of Europe, which lacks the authority to enforce decisions that tracks human rights issues
in Europe, and Jewish groups have expressed concern that the Fundamental
Rights Agency will spend less time focusing on anti-Semitism than
did its predecessor.

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