CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
EN 18.12.2000 Official Journal of the European Communities C 364/1
EN 18.12.2000 Official Journal of the European Communities C 364/3
El Parlamento Europeo, el Consejo y la Comisión proclaman solemnemente en tanto que Carta de los
Derechos Fundamentales de la Unión Europea el texto que figura a continuación.
Europa-Parlamentet, Rådet og Kommissionen proklamerer højtideligt den tekst, der følger nedenfor, som
Den Europæiske Unions charter om grundlæggende rettigheder.
Das Europäische Parlament, der Rat und die Kommission proklamieren feierlich den nachstehenden Text
als Charta der Grundrechte der Europäischen Union.
Ôï Åõñùðáúêü Êïéíïâïýëéï, ôï Óõìâïýëéï êáé ç ÅðéôñïðÞ äéáêçñýóóïõí ðáíçãõñéêÜ, ùò ×Üñôç Èåìåëéùäþí
ÄéêáéùìÜôùí ôçò ÅõñùðáúêÞò ¸íùóçò, ôï êåßìåíï ðïõ áêïëïõèåß.
The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission solemnly proclaim the text below as the
Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union.
Le Parlement européen, le Conseil et la Commission proclament solennellement en tant que Charte des
droits fondamentaux de l’Union européenne le texte repris ci-après.
Forógraíonn Parlaimint na hEorpa, an Chomhairle agus an Coimisiún go sollúnta an téacs thíos mar an
Chairt um Chearta Bunúsacha den Aontas Eorpach.
Il Parlamento europeo, il Consiglio e la Commissione proclamano solennemente quale Carta dei diritti
fondamentali dell’Unione europea il testo riportato in appresso.
Het Europees Parlement, de Raad en de Commissie kondigen plechtig als Handvest van de grondrechten
van de Europese Unie de hierna opgenomen tekst af.
O Parlamento Europeu, o Conselho e a Comissão proclamam solenemente, enquanto Carta dos Direitos
Fundamentais da União Europeia, o texto a seguir transcrito.
Euroopan parlamentti, neuvosto ja komissio juhlallisesti julistavat jäljempänä esitetyn tekstin Euroopan
Europaparlamentet, rådet och kommissionen tillkännager högtidligt denna text såsom stadga om de
grundläggande rättigheterna i Europeiska unionen.
EN 18.12.2000 Official Journal of the European Communities C 364/5
Hecho en Niza, el siete de diciembre del año dos mil.
Udfærdiget i Nice den syvende december to tusind.
Geschehen zu Nizza am siebten Dezember zweitausend.
¸ãéíå óôç Íßêáéá, óôéò åðôÜ Äåêåìâñßïõ äýï ÷éëéÜäåò.
Done at Nice on the seventh day of December in the year two thousand.
Fait à Nice, le sept décembre deux mille.
Arna dhéanamh i Nice, an seachtú lá de Nollaig sa bhliain dhá mhíle.
Fatto a Nizza, addì sette dicembre duemila.
Gedaan te Nice, de zevende december tweeduizend.
Feito em Nice, em sete de Dezembro de dois mil.
Tehty Nizzassa seitsemäntenä päivänä joulukuuta vuonna kaksituhatta.
Som skedde i Nice den sjunde december tjugohundra.
EN C 364/6 Official Journal of the European Communities 18.12.2000
Por el Parlamento Europeo
Für das Europäische Parlament
Ãéá ôï Åõñùðáúêü Êïéíïâïýëéï
For the European Parliament
Pour le Parlement européen
Thar ceann Pharlaimint na hEorpa
Per il Parlamento europeo
Voor het Europees Parlement
Pelo Parlamento Europeu
Euroopan parlamentin puolesta
Por el Consejo de la Unión Europea
For Rådet for Den Europæiske Union
Für den Rat der Europäischen Union
Ãéá ôï Óõìâïýëéï ôçò ÅõñùðáúêÞò ¸íùóçò
For the Council of the European Union
Pour le Conseil de l’Union européenne
Thar ceann Chomhairle an Aontais Eorpaigh
Per il Consiglio dell’Unione europea
Voor de Raad van de Europese Unie
Pelo Conselho da União Europeia
Euroopan unionin neuvoston puolesta
För Europeiska unionens råd
Por la Comisión Europea
Für die Europäische Kommission
Ãéá ôçí ÅõñùðáúêÞ ÅðéôñïðÞ
For the European Commission
Pour la Commission européenne
Thar ceann an Choimisiúin Eorpaigh
Per la Commissione europea
Voor de Europese Commissie
Pela Comissão Europeia
Euroopan komission puolesta
För Europeiska kommissionen
EN 18.12.2000 Official Journal of the European Communities C 364/7
The peoples of Europe, in creating an ever closer union among them, are resolved to share a peaceful
future based on common values.
Conscious of its spiritual and moral heritage, the Union is founded on the indivisible, universal values of
human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity; it is based on the principles of democracy and the rule
of law. It places the individual at the heart of its activities, by establishing the citizenship of the Union
and by creating an area of freedom, security and justice.
The Union contributes to the preservation and to the development of these common values while
respecting the diversity of the cultures and traditions of the peoples of Europe as well as the
national identities of the Member States and the organisation of their public authorities at national,
regional and local levels; it seeks to promote balanced and sustainable development and ensures free
movement of persons, goods, services and capital, and the freedom of establishment.
To this end, it is necessary to strengthen the protection of fundamental rights in the light of changes in
society, social progress and scientific and technological developments by making those rights more
visible in a Charter.
This Charter reaffirms, with due regard for the powers and tasks of the Community and the Union and
the principle of subsidiarity, the rights as they result, in particular, from the constitutional traditions and
international obligations common to the Member States, the Treaty on European Union, the Community
Treaties, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the
Social Charters adopted by the Community and by the Council of Europe and the case-law of the Court
of Justice of the European Communities and of the European Court of Human Rights.
Enjoyment of these rights entails responsibilities and duties with regard to other persons, to the human
community and to future generations.
The Union therefore recognises the rights, freedoms and principles set out hereafter.
EN C 364/8 Official Journal of the European Communities 18.12.2000
Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected.
Right to life
1. Everyone has the right to life.
2. No one shall be condemned to the death penalty, or executed.
Right to the integrity of the person
1. Everyone has the right to respect for his or her physical and mental integrity.
2. In the fields of medicine and biology, the following must be respected in particular:
— the free and informed consent of the person concerned, according to the procedures laid down by
— the prohibition of eugenic practices, in particular those aiming at the selection of persons,
— the prohibition on making the human body and its parts as such a source of financial gain,
— the prohibition of the reproductive cloning of human beings.
Prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Prohibition of slavery and forced labour
1. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.
2. No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.
3. Trafficking in human beings is prohibited.
EN 18.12.2000 Official Journal of the European Communities C 364/9
Right to liberty and security
Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.
Respect for private and family life
Everyone has the right to respect for his or her private and family life, home and communications.
Protection of personal data
1. Everyone has the right to the protection of personal data concerning him or her.
2. Such data must be processed fairly for specified purposes and on the basis of the consent of the
person concerned or some other legitimate basis laid down by law. Everyone has the right of access to
data which has been collected concerning him or her, and the right to have it rectified.
3. Compliance with these rules shall be subject to control by an independent authority.
Right to marry and right to found a family
The right to marry and the right to found a family shall be guaranteed in accordance with the national
laws governing the exercise of these rights.
Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right includes freedom
to change religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or in
private, to manifest religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
2. The right to conscientious objection is recognised, in accordance with the national laws governing
the exercise of this right.
EN C 364/10 Official Journal of the European Communities 18.12.2000
Freedom of expression and information
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions
and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless
2. The freedom and pluralism of the media shall be respected.
Freedom of assembly and of association
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association at all levels,
in particular in political, trade union and civic matters, which implies the right of everyone to form and
to join trade unions for the protection of his or her interests.
2. Political parties at Union level contribute to expressing the political will of the citizens of the
Freedom of the arts and sciences
The arts and scientific research shall be free of constraint. Academic freedom shall be respected.
Right to education
1. Everyone has the right to education and to have access to vocational and continuing training.
2. This right includes the possibility to receive free compulsory education.
3. The freedom to found educational establishments with due respect for democratic principles and
the right of parents to ensure the education and teaching of their children in conformity with their
religious, philosophical and pedagogical convictions shall be respected, in accordance with the national
laws governing the exercise of such freedom and right.
Freedom to choose an occupation and right to engage in work
1. Everyone has the right to engage in work and to pursue a freely chosen or accepted occupation.
2. Every citizen of the Union has the freedom to seek employment, to work, to exercise the right of
establishment and to provide services in any Member State.
EN 18.12.2000 Official Journal of the European Communities C 364/11
3. Nationals of third countries who are authorised to work in the territories of the Member States are
entitled to working conditions equivalent to those of citizens of the Union.
Freedom to conduct a business
The freedom to conduct a business in accordance with Community law and national laws and practices
Right to property
1. Everyone has the right to own, use, dispose of and bequeath his or her lawfully acquired
possessions. No one may be deprived of his or her possessions, except in the public interest and in
the cases and under the conditions provided for by law, subject to fair compensation being paid in good
time for their loss. The use of property may be regulated by law in so far as is necessary for the general
2. Intellectual property shall be protected.
Right to asylum
The right to asylum shall be guaranteed with due respect for the rules of the Geneva Convention of 28
July 1951 and the Protocol of 31 January 1967 relating to the status of refugees and in accordance with
the Treaty establishing the European Community.
Protection in the event of removal, expulsion or extradition
1. Collective expulsions are prohibited.
2. No one may be removed, expelled or extradited to a State where there is a serious risk that he or
she would be subjected to the death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or
EN C 364/12 Official Journal of the European Communities 18.12.2000
Equality before the law
Everyone is equal before the law.
1. Any discrimination based 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 shall be prohibited.
2. Within the scope of application of the Treaty establishing the European Community and of the
Treaty on European Union, and without prejudice to the special provisions of those Treaties, any
discrimination on grounds of nationality shall be prohibited.
Cultural, religious and linguistic diversity
The Union shall respect cultural, religious and linguistic diversity.
Equality between men and women
Equality between men and women must be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay.
The principle of equality shall not prevent the maintenance or adoption of measures providing for
specific advantages in favour of the under-represented sex.
The rights of the child
1. Children shall have the right to such protection and care as is necessary for their well-being. They
may express their views freely. Such views shall be taken into consideration on matters which concern
them in accordance with their age and maturity.
2. In all actions relating to children, whether taken by public authorities or private institutions, the
child’s best interests must be a primary consideration.
EN 18.12.2000 Official Journal of the European Communities C 364/13
3. Every child shall have the right to maintain on a regular basis a personal relationship and direct
contact with both his or her parents, unless that is contrary to his or her interests.
The rights of the elderly
The Union recognises and respects the rights of the elderly to lead a life of dignity and independence
and to participate in social and cultural life.
Integration of persons with disabilities
The Union recognises and respects the right of persons with disabilities to benefit from measures
designed to ensure their independence, social and occupational integration and participation in the
life of the community.
EN C 364/14 Official Journal of the European Communities 18.12.2000
Workers’ right to information and consultation within the undertaking
Workers or their representatives must, at the appropriate levels, be guaranteed information and consul-
tation in good time in the cases and under the conditions provided for by Community law and national
laws and practices.
Right of collective bargaining and action
Workers and employers, or their respective organisations, have, in accordance with Community law and
national laws and practices, the right to negotiate and conclude collective agreements at the appropriate
levels and, in cases of conf licts of interest, to take collective action to defend their interests, including
Right of access to placement services
Everyone has the right of access to a free placement service.
Protection in the event of unjustif ied dismissal
Every worker has the right to protection against unjustified dismissal, in accordance with Community
law and national laws and practices.
Fair and just working conditions
1. Every worker has the right to working conditions which respect his or her health, safety and
2. Every worker has the right to limitation of maximum working hours, to daily and weekly rest
periods and to an annual period of paid leave.
EN 18.12.2000 Official Journal of the European Communities C 364/15
Prohibition of child labour and protection of young people at work
The employment of children is prohibited. The minimum age of admission to employment may not be
lower than the minimum school-leaving age, without prejudice to such rules as may be more favourable
to young people and except for limited derogations.
Young people admitted to work must have working conditions appropriate to their age and be protected
against economic exploitation and any work likely to harm their safety, health or physical, mental, moral
or social development or to interfere with their education.
Family and professional life
1. The family shall enjoy legal, economic and social protection.
2. To reconcile family and professional life, everyone shall have the right to protection from dismissal
for a reason connected with maternity and the right to paid maternity leave and to parental leave
following the birth or adoption of a child.
Social security and social assistance
1. The Union recognises and respects the entitlement to social security benefits and social services
providing protection in cases such as maternity, illness, industrial accidents, dependency or old age, and
in the case of loss of employment, in accordance with the rules laid down by Community law and
national laws and practices.
2. Everyone residing and moving legally within the European Union is entitled to social security
benefits and social advantages in accordance with Community law and national laws and practices.
3. In order to combat social exclusion and poverty, the Union recognises and respects the right to
social and housing assistance so as to ensure a decent existence for all those who lack sufficient
resources, in accordance with the rules laid down by Community law and national laws and practices.
Everyone has the right of access to preventive health care and the right to benefit from medical
treatment under the conditions established by national laws and practices. A high level of human
health protection shall be ensured in the definition and implementation of all Union policies and
EN C 364/16 Official Journal of the European Communities 18.12.2000
Access to services of general economic interest
The Union recognises and respects access to services of general economic interest as provided for in
national laws and practices, in accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Community, in
order to promote the social and territorial cohesion of the Union.
A high level of environmental protection and the improvement of the quality of the environment must
be integrated into the policies of the Union and ensured in accordance with the principle of sustainable
Union policies shall ensure a high level of consumer protection.
EN 18.12.2000 Official Journal of the European Communities C 364/17
Right to vote and to stand as a candidate at elections to the European Parliament
1. Every citizen of the Union has the right to vote and to stand as a candidate at elections to the
European Parliament in the Member State in which he or she resides, under the same conditions as
nationals of that State.
2. Members of the European Parliament shall be elected by direct universal suffrage in a free and
Right to vote and to stand as a candidate at municipal elections
Every citizen of the Union has the right to vote and to stand as a candidate at municipal elections in the
Member State in which he or she resides under the same conditions as nationals of that State.
Right to good administration
1. Every person has the right to have his or her affairs handled impartially, fairly and within a
reasonable time by the institutions and bodies of the Union.
2. 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.
3. Every person has the right to have the Community make good any damage caused by its insti-
tutions or by its servants in the performance of their duties, in accordance with the general principles
common to the laws of the Member States.
4. 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.
EN C 364/18 Official Journal of the European Communities 18.12.2000
Right of access to documents
Any citizen of the Union, and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a
Member State, has a right of access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
Any citizen of the Union and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a
Member State has the right to refer to the Ombudsman of the Union cases of maladministration in the
activities of the Community institutions or bodies, with the exception of the Court of Justice and the
Court of First Instance acting in their judicial role.
Right to petition
Any citizen of the Union and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a
Member State has the right to petition the European Parliament.
Freedom of movement and of residence
1. Every citizen of the Union has the right to move and reside freely within the territory of the
2. Freedom of movement and residence may be granted, in accordance with the Treaty establishing
the European Community, to nationals of third countries legally resident in the territory of a Member
Diplomatic and consular protection
Every citizen of the Union shall, in the territory of a third country in which the Member State of which
he or she is a national is not represented, be entitled to protection by the diplomatic or consular
authorities of any Member State, on the same conditions as the nationals of that Member State.
EN 18.12.2000 Official Journal of the European Communities C 364/19
Right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial
Everyone whose rights and freedoms guaranteed by the law of the Union are violated has the right to an
effective remedy before a tribunal in compliance with the conditions laid down in this Article.
Everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and
impartial tribunal previously established by law. Everyone shall have the possibility of being advised,
defended and represented.
Legal aid shall be made available to those who lack sufficient resources in so far as such aid is necessary
to ensure effective access to justice.
Presumption of innocence and right of defence
1. Everyone who has been charged shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.
2. Respect for the rights of the defence of anyone who has been charged shall be guaranteed.
Principles of legality and proportionality of criminal offences and penalties
1. No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did
not constitute a criminal offence under national law or international law at the time when it was
committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than that which was applicable at the time the
criminal offence was committed. If, subsequent to the commission of a criminal offence, the law
provides for a lighter penalty, that penalty shall be applicable.
2. This Article shall not prejudice the trial and punishment of any person for any act or omission
which, at the time when it was committed, was criminal according to the general principles recognised
by the community of nations.
3. The severity of penalties must not be disproportionate to the criminal offence.
Right not to be tried or punished twice in criminal proceedings for the same criminal offence
No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again in criminal proceedings for an offence for which he
or she has already been finally acquitted or convicted within the Union in accordance with the law.
EN C 364/20 Official Journal of the European Communities 18.12.2000
1. The provisions of this Charter are addressed to the institutions and bodies of the Union with due
regard for the principle of subsidiarity and to the Member States only when they are implementing
Union law. They shall therefore respect the rights, observe the principles and promote the application
thereof in accordance with their respective powers.
2. This Charter does not establish any new power or task for the Community or the Union, or
modify powers and tasks defined by the Treaties.
Scope of guaranteed rights
1. Any limitation on the exercise of the rights and freedoms recognised by this Charter must be
provided for by law and respect the essence of those rights and freedoms. Subject to the principle of
proportionality, limitations may be made only if they are necessary and genuinely meet objectives of
general interest recognised by the Union or the need to protect the rights and freedoms of others.
2. Rights recognised by this Charter which are based on the Community Treaties or the Treaty on
European Union shall be exercised under the conditions and within the limits defined by those Treaties.
3. In so far as this Charter contains rights which correspond to rights guaranteed by the Convention
for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the meaning and scope of those rights
shall be the same as those laid down by the said Convention. This provision shall not prevent Union law
providing more extensive protection.
Level of protection
Nothing in this Charter shall be interpreted as restricting or adversely affecting human rights and
fundamental freedoms as recognised, in their respective fields of application, by Union law and inter-
national law and by international agreements to which the Union, the Community or all the Member
States are party, including the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Funda-
mental Freedoms, and by the Member States’ constitutions.
EN 18.12.2000 Official Journal of the European Communities C 364/21
Prohibition of abuse of rights
Nothing in this Charter shall be interpreted as implying any right to engage in any activity or to perform
any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms recognised in this Charter or at their
limitation to a greater extent than is provided for herein.
EN C 364/22 Official Journal of the European Communities 18.12.2000