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Fundamental rights - glossary RSS

a

  • Amsterdam Treaty

    Reorganised cooperation in the fields of justice and home affairs, setting as its objective the establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice. Certain sectors formerly in the intergovernmental section of the EU and EC Treaties were brought within the Community framework, giving EU institutions scope for action on a wider range of issues.

b

  • Belief

    EU citizenship confers the right to protection from discrimination on the grounds of, among other things, belief. This is enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

  • Best interests of the child

    In all actions relating to children, taken by public authorities or private institutions, the child's best interests must be a primary consideration.

c

  • Case law

    Case-law is used internationally to refer to rules of law flowing from a set of convergent decisions of the courts. The case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union français is particularly rich in decisions on the interpretation of the Union treaties, directives and regulations. It is a source of Union law.

  • Charter of Fundamental Rights

    The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union consolidates rights contained in Community Treaties, EC Court of Justice case-law, international conventions, constitutional traditions common to the Member States and a range of European Parliament declarations.

  • Child

    As defined by art.1 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless, under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.

d

  • Dignity

    The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights includes a section dealing with dignity. Citizens can refer to it to challenge decisions taken by EU institutions and Member States -only when they implement the EU law.

  • Discrimination

    Non-discrimination is one of the values on which the EU is founded. The Treaty protects against discrimination on the basis of EU nationality. The Charter of Fundamental Rights prohibits discrimination on any ground, such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation as well as on the grounds of nationality in the area of EU law.

e

  • EU citizenship

    The 1992 Maastricht Treaty established the concept of European citizenship. EU citizenship confers a range of rights, including freedom of movement Choose translations of the previous link  and the right to vote and stand in local and European elections in every EU country.

  • Equal treatment

    According to Article 19 of the Treaty the Council has the power to take appropriate action to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

  • European Convention on Human Rights

    Signed in Rome in 1950 under the aegis of the Council of Europe, the Convention established a system of international protection for human rights and set up a European Court of Human Rights.

f

  • Free association

    The right to associate freely in the EU has been established by the case-law of the European Court of Justice.

  • Free expression

    The right to free expression in the EU has been established by the case-law of the European Court of Justice.

  • Freedom

    All citizens of the EU have the right to move, live and work freely within the EU.

  • Freedoms

    The EU and EC Treaties guarantee four fundamental market freedoms: free movement of goods, services, people and capital.

  • Fundamental freedoms

    For EU citizens to be able to exercise fundamental freedoms particularly the right to live and work throughout the EU the judiciaries of the Member States must cooperate and standardise procedures to remove any barriers faced by the citizen in carrying out personal or economic administrative and litigious activity.

  • Fundamental rights

    EU Treaties and case-law provide for fundamental human rights as well as rights connected with EU citizenship, such as freedom of movement throughout the EU. These rights are summed up in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, proclaimed in December 2000.

g

  • Gender

    Identifies the social relations between men and women. It refers to the relationship between men and women, boys and girls, and how this is socially constructed. Gender roles are dynamic and change over time.

h

  • Homosexuals

    EU citizenship confers the right to protection from discrimination on the grounds of, among other things, sexual orientation. This is enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

  • Human rights

    The case-law of the European Court of Justice recognises the principles laid down in the Council of Europe's Convention on Human Rights. This respect for human rights is incorporated into Article 6 of the EU Treaty. Action is outlined for cases where a Member State seriously and persistently breaches the principles.

i

  • International human rights treaty

    Treaty setting out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. The UNCRC has been ratified by 193 States, including all EU Member States. The UNCRC is the basis for Article 24 of the Charter protecting the rights of the child.

j

  • Justice

    The administration of law according to agreed principles. One of the main aims of EU policy is access to justice for EU citizens, no matter the country to which they move.

p

  • Political, economic and social rights

    These rights are enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, proclaimed by EU leaders in Nice in December 2000.

  • Privacy

    Each citizen's right to privacy is upheld in various EU instruments, including EU Court of Justice case-law and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

  • Property

    The EU Court of Justice in its extensive case-law has enshrined the right to own property.

r

  • Race

    The EU is firmly opposed to any discrimination based on race. Article 19 of the Treaty empowers the EU to pass laws against discrimination based, for instance, on racial or ethnic origin.

  • Racism

    Racism is contrary to the fundamental values of human dignity, freedom, equality and respect for human rights upon which the European Union is founded. The EU is working, from both a preventative and repressive perspective, to combat all its forms and manifestations.

  • Racist behaviour / Racist violence or hatred

    Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law bans the intentional public incitement to violence or hatred based on race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin.

  • Religion

    All EU residents are free to practise their own religion. This freedom is enshrined in the EU Treaties, the European Convention on human rights and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

s

  • Sex

    All forms of discrimination based on sex, e.g. pay-related, are contrary to EU principles.

t

  • The four freedoms

    This refers to the free movement of goods, services, people and capital - the original 'raison d'être' of the European Community.

  • Treaties

    The EU Treaties state that the European Union is founded on the principle of liberty, democracy, human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.

u

  • UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

    The main human rights treaty setting out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children.

  • Unaccompanied minors

    Children who find themselves outside their country of origin and have been separated from both parents and other relatives, and are not being cared for by an adult who, by law or custom, is responsible for doing so.

v

  • Views of the child

    In accordance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union children are entitled to such care and protection as is necessary for their well-being. Their views have to be taken into account and their best interests have to be a primary consideration in all actions related to them.

    In accordance with the Charter children may express their views freely. Such views shall be taken into consideration on matters which concern them in accordance with their age and maturity.

x

  • Xenophobia

    Fear of foreigners. Xenophobia is contrary to the fundamental values of human dignity, freedom, equality and respect for human rights upon which the European Union is founded. The EU is working, from both a preventative and repressive perspective, to combat all its forms and manifestations.