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Meetings Calendar 2006
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Fundamental Rights

 

Extract from the Preamble:

"The peoples of Europe (…) are resolved to share a peaceful future based on common values. The Union therefore recognises the rights, freedoms and principles set out hereafter."

The fundamental rights are not yet an integral part of the European Treaties. As a result of the binding inclusion of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the Constitutional Treaty, any citizen who feels that his or her fundamental rights have been infringed by a European legal instrument will be able to take action before the Court of Justice of the EU once the Treaty enters into force. Furthermore, the EU is seeking to become party to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

 

What does the Charter of Fundamental Freedoms contain?

(extracts)

Human dignity

  • Right to life
  • Exclusion of the death penalty
  • Right to the integrity of the person
  • Prohibition of the reproductive cloning of human beings
  • Prohibition of torture
  • Prohibition of slavery and forced labour

Freedoms

  • Right to liberty and security
  • Respect for private and family life
  • Protection of personal data
  • Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
  • Freedom of expression and information
  • Freedom of assembly and of association
  • Right to education
  • Freedom to choose an occupation and right to engage in work
  • Freedom to conduct a business
  • Right to property

Equality before the law

  • Equality between women and men
  • Non-discrimination
  • Respect for cultural, religious and linguistic diversity
  • Protection for the rights of the child, the elderly and persons with disabilities 

Solidarity

  • Prohibition of child labour
  • Protection of young people at work
  • Right of access to preventive health care and the right to benefit from medical treatment
  • Environmental and consumer protection

Citizens' rights

  • Right to vote and to stand as a candidate in elections
  • Right to good administration
  • Right of access to documents

Justice

  • Right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial
  • Presumption of innocence
  • Principle of proportionality of penalties
  • Right not to be tried or punished twice for the same offence

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Origins

The Charter of Fundamental Rights was drawn up by a convention specially convened for the purpose, consisting of representatives of the EU Member States and the European Parliament. The convention was chaired by Roman Herzog, the former President of Germany. The Charter lists six categories of human rights, citizens rights, economic and social rights. It was proclaimed by the Heads of State or Government in December 2000. The Charter is based on the common constitutional traditions and international commitments of the EU Member States.

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Date: 01.01.2006