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.

  • Statement by
    Luca Jahier, EESC President and José Antonio Moreno Díaz, President of the Group on Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law (FRRL)

    The response to the COVID-19 crisis has had a negative impact on a number of fundamental rights. The unavoidable lockdowns have restricted our freedom of movement and cross-border travel. Freedom of association and assembly have been cut, so have privacy rights through data tracking systems. What has been put in place as a temporary measure cannot be instrumentalised to revert decades-long fights for freedoms and equality.  We must get out of this crisis with our democracies – and our European Union – intact.

  • Image showing the title Liaison Group Newsletter
    • Editorial by EESC President, Christa Schweng
    • Barometer 2021 on participation
    • Time to move forward and build resilience in the disability services sector
    • Guidance documents on improving civil dialogue in the European Semester process
    • Civil society space post-COVID
    • European Citizens' Initiative Forum
    • Prioritising learners' well-being
    • Just Transition Monitor
    • The future of higher education in Europe ...and much more
  • In this issue:

    • Members' proposals and demands for a more inclusive Europe
    • Guest article by Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir, Vice-President, Inclusion Europe
    • Civil Society Organisations call for an EU Civil Society Strategy - Conference on 5 November
    • An amazing year - Members look back on the first year of the 2020-2025 term
    Diversity Europe Newsletter - December 2021
  • In this issue:

    • Articles on the state of play of associations by our Members
    • Guest article by Raffaella Bolini, Co-President, European Civic Forum
    • Statement of the Group on Climate Change
    • What happened to the EESC opinion on Europe’s beating cancer plan? - An interview with rapporteur Małgorzata Anna Bogusz
    Diversity Europe Group Newsletter - October 2021
  • In this issue:

    • Members' work and views related to the freedom of the press
    • Pauline Adès-Mével from Reporters Without Borders on the 2021 World Press Freedom Index
    • Senior researcher Julian Plottka on press freedom in Europe
    • Interview with Vlagyiszlav Makszimov, Global Europe reporter, EURACTIV Network Regional Coordinator Balkans
    Diversity Europe Group Newsletter - June 2021