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Strengthening fundamental rights within the EU

During its presidency of the Council of the European Union, Finland intends to promote the implementation of fundamental rights in various ways. Fundamental rights are an important element in the EU's common set of values. Under Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union, the Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union is incorporated into the EU Treaties. It became legally binding when the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force on 1 December 2009. The 10th anniversary of the Charter will thus be celebrated during the Finnish Presidency.

Stronger fundamental rights as part of shared European values

The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on fundamental rights during the Finnish presidency. On this occasion, the justice ministers of the EU Member States will hold a policy debate in the Justice and Home Affairs Council on the implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

During its presidency, Finland will organise several events to discuss fundamental rights issues. Some of these events will involve the EU’s key partners. The topics will include the relationship between fundamental rights, democracy and rule of law and the implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The recognition of sexual and gender minorities’ rights within the EU will also be assessed.

Information on the implementation of the EU Charter

The European Commission publishes annual reports on the implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The reports are available on the Commission’s website.

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) publishes annually a Fundamental Rights Report that focuses on a special topic relevant for fundamental rights and also takes a more general look at the respect for fundamental rights in the sectors covered by the Agency. The Fundamental Rights Reports are available on the Agency´s website.

Maintained by the FRA, Charterpedia is an online tool which provides easy-to-access information on the Charter of Fundamental Rights and its application practice.

Inquiries

Kaisa Tiusanen, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Justice, tel. +358 2951 50169, kaisa.tiusanen(at)om.fi