What are fundamental rights?
Fundamental rights set out minimum standards to ensure that a person is treated with dignity. Whether this is the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of your age, disability or ethnic background, the right to the protection of your personal data, or the right to get access to justice, these rights should all be respected, promoted and protected.
The European Union (EU) Member States have a long tradition of safeguarding fundamental rights. The EU itself is built on these values and is committed to guaranteeing the rights proclaimed in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) was set up as an independent body to support this endeavour.
The term ‘fundamental rights’ is used by the European Union (EU) to express the concept of ‘human rights’ within a specific EU internal context.
Traditionally, the term ‘fundamental rights’ is used in a constitutional setting whereas the term ‘human rights’ is used in international law. The two terms refer to the similar substance as can be seen when comparing the content in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union with that of the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Social Charter.