Thursday, 1 October 2015

EU fundamental rights: colloquium, Charter, strategy and report

In this blog post I am going to refer briefly to four pillars of fundamental rights in the European Union: the first annual colloquium, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the Commission's strategy for effective implementation, and the latest annual report.

EU colloquium on fundamental rights
The European Commission's has dedicated its first annual colloquium on fundamental rights, 1 to 2 October 2015, to the fight against anti-semitic and anti-muslim discrimination, hate crimes and hate speech.
The aim is to foster a culture of inclusive tolerance and respect in the European Union.

EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
All EU members have undertaken to secure to everyone the rights and freedoms defined in the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), and to abide by the final judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in any case to which they are parties.
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union became legally binding when the Lisbon Treaty entered into force.
The Charter applies to institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the EU, but to the member states only when they implement EU law.

Fundamental rights strategy
Because of the legally binding character of the Charter, the EU Commission published a strategy in 2010 (press release). More exactly, this communication is called:
The strategy presents the Commission's activities to prevent breaches of and promote adherence to fundamental rights, among the EU institutions, as well as in the member states when applying EU law.
In addition, the Commission promised an annual report on the application of the Charter, with two objectives stated:
to take stock of progress in a transparent, continuous and consistent manner. It will identify what has been done and what remains to be done for the effective application of the Charter;
to offer an opportunity for an annual exchange of views with the European Parliament and the Council.

2014 report on the application of the Charter
The latest annual report was published 8 May 2015 (press release). Here you can find the different language versions for:
but the accompanying SWD only in English
In English you are also offered the luxury version consisting of a 'printed' booklet containing the report, the much more detailed staff working document and the Charter text (185 pages; 5 MB).

Ralf Grahn