Know your rights

Every person has the right to have his or her affairs handled impartially, fairly and within a reasonable time by the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union.

This right includes

  • the right of every person to be heard, before any individual measure which would affect him or her adversely is taken
  • the right of every person to have access to his or her file, while respecting the legitimate interests of confidentiality and of professional and business secrecy
  • the obligation of the administration to give reasons for its decisions

Futhermore, every person has the right to have the Union make good any damage caused by its institutions or by its servants in the performance of their duties, in accordance with the general principles common to the laws of the Member States.

Every person may write to the institutions of the Union in one of the languages of the Treaties and must have an answer in the same language.

This right is enshrined in article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

What to do if your rights have been breached

The authorities of EU countries are bound to comply with the Charter of fundamental rights only when implementing EU law. Fundamental rights are protected by your country's constitution.

How to report a breach of your rights

How to report a breach of your rights

Addressing your complaint to the relevant national authority, government, national courts or a specialised human rights body.

Chapter 5 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is on citizens' rights. This chapter also contains the following rights