Challenges and opportunities for the implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights

With this Opinion, FRA aims to contribute 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.

This FRA Opinion provides evidence and analysis on the following questions:

  • Is the EU putting sufficient emphasis on the Charter, and how could it extend this emphasis? This Opinion focuses on EU agencies; a different study commissioned by AFCO dealt with EU institutions.
  • Is the Charter used within the three branches of national government, namely government policies, national legislation and national courts?
  • How is the EU assisting Member States to better implement the Charter, and how could these instruments be improved?

The Opinion draws on FRA’s internal analysis and input collected from:

  • replies by the EU agencies who responded to a questionnaire sent by the Chairperson of AFCO to all agencies;
  • its multidisciplinary expert network FRANET, covering all 28 EU Member States, as well as feedback received to questions sent to FRA’s National Liaison Officers working for the governments in the 28 EU Member States;
  • replies to a questionnaire of 10 questions sent by FRA to the participants of its Fundamental Rights Platform (a platform currently bringing together 714 nongovernmental organisations and civil society institutions active in the field of fundamental rights).

This Opinion should be read in light of other work the agency is carrying out on the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Amongst others, this strand of FRA’s work includes the database Charterpedia, FRA handbooks and opinions.