Cities as guardians of fundamental rights. Ensuring equal access to quality services for all

Location: Noble Hall, Alfandega
Date: Fri, January 31
Time: 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

All levels of public administration, including local authorities are bound to comply with fundamental rights obligations as prescribed in the anti-discrimination and fundamental right legal requirements. This workshop looks at cities’ role as guardians of fundamental rights and how this is demonstrated through policy-making and public service provision. The workshop will thus explore the extent to which urban development strategies respond to human rights protection challenges and how equal access to quality services for all is ensured. To set the scene, an overview of cities’ legal requirements in the field of human rights implementation will be presented. It will be followed by local policies examples to present some practical implications of requirements. By providing insights on how to translate the fundamental rights responsibilities into practical measures at the local level, the objective is to support local authorities and policies, including EU funds measures to better follow fundamental rights requirements. Speakers will include representatives of EU institutions, local authorities, service providers and civil society organisations.

09.00 – 09.10 Introduction

Gergana Miladinova, Deputy Head of Unit, Directorate-General Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission

09.10 – 09.25 Setting the scene – human rights obligations at the local level

Moritz Baumgärtel, Assistant Professor, Utrecht University, Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance

09.25 – 09.35 Local authority example – provision of quality and equal access to services

Pilar Díaz, Mayor of Esplugues de Llobregat and Deputy Councillor for International Relations at Provincial Council of Barcelona

09.35 – 10.20 Panel discussion


  • Maria Raquel Magalhães de Castelo Branco, Municipal Department of Social Affairs, Porto
  • Lefteris Papagiannakis, Project Manager, Athens
  • Saimir Mile, Le voix de Rroms
  • Ana Catarina Correia, Independent Living Centre, Porto
  • Michele LeVoy, Director, Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) (tbc)

10.20 – 10.30 Closing

Gergana Miladinova, Deputy Head of Unit, Directorate-General Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission

Parallel Workshop

Noble Hall