2016 Report on the application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

Date: 31st May 2017
Category: Other human rights treaties and mechanisms

The European Commission has reported on the application of the Charter of fundamental rights in the EU for 2016.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU brings together the fundamental rights protected in the EU. The Charter contains rights and freedoms under six titles: Dignity, Freedoms, Equality, Solidarity, Citizens' Rights, and Justice. Proclaimed in 2000, the Charter has become legally binding on the EU with the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, in December 2009. The provisions of the Charter are primarily addressed to the EU institutions and then to the national authorities only when they are implementing EU law.

On May 17th 2017, the European Commission published its annual Report on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The report outlines the initiatives taken in 2016 by the EU to strengthen fundamental rights for the benefit of people in the EU. It also looks at how these rights were applied across a range of EU policies and in the Member States in 2016.

First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: "The European Union is not just a market or a currency, it is first and foremost a Union of values. As guardian of the Treaties the European Commission has a special duty to uphold the fundamental rights and the rule of law throughout this Union, a responsibility which we share with all the EU's institutions and Member States."

Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender equality added: "The European Commission has been working in all areas of EU law to safeguard fundamental rights across Europe. This includes protecting children's rights, strengthening the right to personal data protection, improving consumers' rights and guaranteeing basic conditions also for people seeking asylum or migrating. We must continue to make sure that rights are a reality for everyone across Europe. Fundamental rights are for all."

This year's Report concludes that recent developments pose serious threats to fundamental rights. The Commission will ensure that all EU legislative proposals and all bodies bound by the Charter will continue to respect it. They will pay particular attention to the important system of checks and balances, in particular the key role of supreme courts and constitutional courts in upholding the EU's common values.