European Union

The European Union (EU) currently has 27 members that have delegated some of their sovereignty so that decisions on specific matters of joint interest can be made democratically at European level. With the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty and the appointment of a new EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, the EU is becoming an increasingly important actor in the human rights landscape of Europe.

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The European Union

For general information see EUROPA - the EU website.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

This Charter sets out the full range of civil, political, economic and social rights of European citizens and all persons resident in the EU. The rights are based on 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 and other international conventions to which the European Union or its Member States are parties. See the European Parliament website for more detail.

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

Also known as the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), this Agency is a body of the European Union (EU) based in Vienna. It provides the relevant institutions and authorities of the Community and its Member States with assistance and expertise relating to fundamental rights in order to support them when they take measures or formulate courses of action within their respective spheres of competence to fully respect fundamental rights. See the FRA website for more detail.

Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship

Viviane Reding,Vice-President of the European Commission, is the first EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. Read more about her mandate on EUROPA.

Call For Evidence on the Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union:  Fundamental Rights

The Balance of Competences Review was announced in July 2012 to examine the balance of competences between the UK and the European Union.  The Review is an audit of what the EU does, and how it affects government and the general public in the UK. This piece of work will deepen our understanding of EU membership, and help shape the UK's policies in relation to the EU. See the MOJ website for more detail.

In Jan 2014, the EHRC published a response to the consultation on this subject. 

Find out more about our human rights work:

Changes to the human rights framework

Last Updated: 04 Jun 2015