The protection of human rights within the European Union

At the level of the European Union, the Charter of Fundamental Rights is the reference text on human rights, while the Court of Justice and the Fundamental Rights Agency are key players.

    1. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

    The European Charter of Fundamental Rights was adopted on 7 December 2000 and constitutes the main reference text (but there are others, see on the website of the European Union) with regard to human rights within the European Union.

    • This charter takes up all the civil, political and social rights of European citizens such as the right to freedom, security and social assistance and the prohibition of discrimination.

    2. The Court of Justice of the European Union

    • The Court of Justice ensures compliance with fundamental rights protected by the Charter.

    It is possible to challenge the Court of Justice of the European Union in the event of non-compliance with fundamental rights in a Member State. This is usually done indirectly: a national judge asks the Court how he must interpret the law of union.

    3. The Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union (FRA)

    The FRA (Fundamental Rights Agency) was established in 2007. This is an independent institution for the promotion and protection of human rights in the EU.

    • FRA collects, analyses and disseminates data on fundamental rights within the Union. It conducts work, studies, and publishes opinions on specific topics. It works in consultation with civil society and raises public awareness of fundamental rights.