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Parliamentary questions
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26 November 2014
P-006472/2014(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Jourová on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: P-006472/2014

Spain, like all the other EU Member States, is bound to respect rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly in particular as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. As already pointed out in the answers to the questions E-013929/2013 and E-013763/2013 the Commission within its competences, has always been strongly committed to ensuring that freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are strictly respected since they lie at the very base of a free, democratic and pluralist society. Yet, the Commission does not have a general competence as regards fundamental rights. According to its Article 51, the Charter of Fundamental Rights is addressed to the Member States only when they are implementing EC law. Moreover, according to Article 4 (2) TEU the Union shall respect the Member States' essential State functions including maintaining law and order. However, this does not mean that there is no fundamental rights protection in matters — such as those referred to by the Honourable Member — where Member States are not implementing Union law. In these cases, it is for the national authorities to ensure that their obligations regarding fundamental rights — as resulting from international agreements and from internal legislation — are respected. The Commission is confident that the national authorities will ensure that their obligations regarding fundamental rights — as resulting from international agreements and from internal legislation — are respected.

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