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Parliamentary questions
18 February 2014
E-013418/2013
Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union is binding on the EU institutions and it is the role of the Commission to ensure that it is respected in every EU action.

In practice, this means all EU legislative proposals are carefully scrutinised against the Charter, including its Articles 1, 15, 17 and 20. More in particular, the impact assessment accompanying any legislative proposal would have to contain a careful fundamental rights analysis. In this respect it is recalled that Article 52(1) provides that any limitation of the Charter rights must be provided for by law and that subject to the principle of proportionality, limitations may be made only if they are necessary and genuinely meet objectives of general interest recognised by the Union or the need to protect rights and freedoms of others.

According to its Article 51(1), the Charter applies to Member States when they are implementing European Union law. The Commission can take a Member State to court for violating fundamental rights when implementing EC law. In cases outside the scope of EC law, it is however for Member States, including their judicial authorities, to ensure that fundamental rights are effectively respected and protected.

It follows that any EU action would have to comply with the very highest standard as concerns compliance with Fundamental Rights at proposal as well as implementation level.

OJ C 239, 23/07/2014
Last updated: 21 February 2014Legal notice