Charter use at national level

The Agency provides support and expertise on the EU Charter at different governance levels by delivering a series of products related to the Fundamental Rights Charter of the European Union.

In 2018 the agency launched a handbook providing guidance on the applicability of the Charter of fundamental rights. It is directed at persons involved in law and policy making at national level and aims to foster better understanding of the Charter, including when it applies in a concrete legislative file. Carrying out a detailed check on the Charter’s applica¬bility will always pay off. Even when the conclusion is that it does not apply, performing a “Charter check” emphasises the relevance of human rights in the context of law and policymaking. That is in itself an achievement as it helps strengthen awareness.


  • Charter chapters in the Fundamental Rights Report

Every year the Agency delivers a Fundamental Rights Report to the EU institutions in which it identifies challenges and progress on fundamental rights in the areas of the Agency’s activities. One of the report’s chapters is specifically dedicated to the use of the Charter at national level. It looks into the use of the Charter in national courtrooms but also into how the Charter is used in the legislative processes at national level. It further tries to identify policies promoting the Charter and training events focusing on the Charter.

The relevant chapters of previous reports are accessible below, covering the following years:


With this legal opinion the Agency has contributed to the European Parliament's own-initiative report on the “Implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union in the EU institutional framework”, being prepared in the Parliament’s Committee for Constitutional Affairs (AFCO). The request aims at understanding the interaction between the Charter’s implementation at national and EU level, and whether there are “instruments, mechanisms and practices” available at EU level to assist Member States to better implement the Charter.


a leaflet that explains how national parliaments, governments and courts can use the Charter and shows how the Charter was used at the national level in 2015. 


Copenhagen Seminar Report Danish Presidency of the Council of the EU and EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (15–16 March 2012).This report focuses on EU and national opportunities and challenges, and the work of law and policy makers, complaints mechanisms, specialised human rights bodies and civil society organisations.


In close cooperation with European Court of Human Rights and with documentary support of the Court of Justice of the European Union the agency is producing handbooks on case law related to both the ECHR as well as the Charter of fundamental rights. The handbooks focus on specific thematic areas. So far the following thematic handbooks were published: