The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights sets political, social and ethical rights that all EU institutions must respect in exercising their powers.
The Charter is classified in six categories: Dignity, Freedoms, Equality, Solidarity, Citizen’s rights, Justice and General Provisions with a particular focus on children’s rights.
More specifically, it ratifies:
• the fundamental rights and freedoms recognised by the European Convention on Human Rights;
• the constitutional traditions of the EU Member States;
• the Council of Europe’s Social Charter;
• the Community Charter of Fundamental Social Rights of Workers;
• other international conventions to which the EU or its Member States are parties.
The Charter became legally binding on EU Member States when the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force in December 2009.
Sometimes the Charter is confused with the European Convention on Human Rights, which was drafted by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and is interpreted by its European Court of Human Rights.
Although containing overlapping human rights provisions, the two operate within separate legal frameworks.
On the other hand The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union was drafted by the EU and is interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_of_Fundamental_Rights_of_the_European_Union, last edited on 12 February 2019, accessed on 08 May 2019
Hannah Johnson, What is the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights?, https://rightsinfo.org/eu-charter-fundamental-rights/ , last edited on 1st August 2017, accessed on 08 May 2019
What is the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union?, Equality and Human Rights Commission, https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/what-are-human-rights/how-are-your-rights-protected/what-charter-fundamental-rights-european-union, Last updated on 03 Oct 2016, accessed on 08 May 2019
Written by Cosimo Palma, Communication Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg).