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Fundamental rights - Newsroom

Fundamental Rights: Importance of EU Charter grows as citizens stand to benefit

Date: 14/04/2014

In 2014 the European Commission continued taking action to improve equality between women and men, including steps to close the gender gaps in employment, pay and pensions discrepancies, to combat violence and to promote equality in decision-making. Efforts are paying off: concrete progress has been made in the area of addressing the gender pay gap – notably through an initiative by the Commission to improve pay transparency (IP/14/222 Choose translations of the previous link ) – or increasing the number of women on company boards (see Annex). These are the main findings of the Commission's annual gender equality report published today along with the annual report on fundamental rights (see IP/14/422 Choose translations of the previous link ).

The 4th annual report published today by the European Commission on the application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, shows that the importance and prominence of the EU Charter continues to rise: the Court of Justice of the EU increasingly applies the Charter in its decisions while national judges are more and more aware of the Charter's impact and seek guidance from the European Court of Justice. The European Commission has also progressively sought to bring the Charter to life by taking action to promote and defend the rights of EU citizens laid down in the Charter. Since 2010, the European Commission has put in place a 'fundamental rights checklist' and as a result screens every legislative proposal to ensure it is "fundamental-rights proof". The annual report on the application of the Charter tracks the progress made and identifies challenges and concerns. It shows: the European Commission places fundamental rights at the heart of all EU policies.

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