Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law

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The EU is not only a common market; it is a union of common values that shape the European identity. These values are set out in the Treaty on the European Union and also include the rights, freedoms and principles laid out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights: the "indivisible, universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity; [the Union] is based on the principles of democracy and the rule of law. It places the individual at the heart of its activities, by establishing the citizenship of the Union and by creating an area of freedom, security and justice."

The Charter brings together into a single text all the personal, civic, political, economic and social rights enjoyed by people within the EU and apply to the EU institutions and Member States when they implement EU law.

The EESC is very active in the promotion of fundamental rights, the rule of law and democracy, and especially in the fight against discrimination based on race, ethnic origin, disability or gender. In 2018, it established the Group on Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law to further expand analysis of the situation across Europe and promote a constructive dialogue amongst all stakeholders.

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Opinion
Hyväksytyt on 18/10/2018
Viite: 
SOC/599-EESC-2018-02950

The Justice, Rights and Values Fund is a much-needed instrument for the promotion of EU values, fundamental rights, democracy, the rule of law, and in support of a vibrant and diverse civil society. Overall funding should be increased to EUR 1.4 billion, and innovative funding tools be used to reinforce civil society participation and capacity. 50% of the different strands should be earmarked for civil society organisations, and funding for litigation in support of civil society organisations defending fundamental rights be supported. Synergies should be found with programmes supporting media freedom.

ETSK:n lausunto: New Justice, Rights and Values Fund

Opinion
Hyväksytyt on 18/10/2018
Viite: 
SOC/598-EESC-2018-02955-00-01-AC-TRA

The EESC welcomes the proposal for economic corrective measures regarding Member States that commit serious violations of the rule of law in Europe, and recommends that the interdependence between democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law is better reflected.  The Commission should develop further channels for debate on Article 2 TEU values, and should include the EESC in this work. The EESC reiterates its call for the creation of a system of regular and independent monitoring of the implementation of these values in the Member States.

ETSK:n lausunto: The Union's budget and the rule of law

Opinion
Hyväksytyt on 19/10/2016
Viite: 
SOC/536-EESC-2016-01275-00-01-ac

Alarming political decisions have shown that the EU lacks adequate instruments to safeguard fundamental values and the rule of law. A new European mechanism on the rule of law and fundamental rights is needed. The mechanism should include a regular assessment of Member States in a governance "policy coordination cycle", similar to the European Semester. The EESC should play an active role, as this will make for strong civil society involvement. The mechanism must be based on indicators, taking into account the indivisibility of fundamental economic, social and cultural rights and civil and political rights.

 

 

ETSK:n lausunto: European control mechanism on the rule of law and fundamental rights (own-initiative opinion)

09/11/2021
News

At a conference, organised by the Diversity Europe Group of the EESC in partnership with Civil Society Europe and with the support of the EESC's Liaison Group and Associational Life Category, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and their umbrella organisations reiterated their call for an EU Civil Society Strategy and a European Statute for Associations. Appropriate follow-up to the Conference on the Future of Europe and a regular and structured dialogue with CSOs were considered key aspects to rebuilding citizens' trust in politics and strengthening European democracy.

20/10/2021
News

Disregard for social and economic rights, restrictions placed on fundamental rights with no end date, broad emergency measures adopted in haste and allowing little scrutiny by parliaments, the judiciary, and civil society - all these contribute to the erosion of public trust in public policies, which can have serious repercussions not only for people's health but also for the health of our democracies, an EESC hearing warned

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