We’re all different – it’s what makes life interesting. Living in the EU, I’m able to lead a free and equal life, regardless of my gender, age, disability, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
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fundamental rights in the EU
MY RIGHTS. MY LIFE.
Live in a democratic society that guarantees equality and protects my human rights and freedoms.
Whether I’m tweeting about a new film, telling a friend about my religion, or talking about a protest I’ve seen on the news, my opinion is valuable and I’m entitled to voice it. It’s what makes democracy tick. Freedom of expression is the cornerstone of the EU and wherever I live, I have the right to talk about my ideas and beliefs.
Wherever I get my news – whether that be online, on TV, or from a newspaper – every media outlet is free to report current events accurately, no matter how critical of a policy or political party they are. This enables me to develop informed opinions about political events, consumer issues, sports and the kind of society I want to live in.
Things don’t always go to plan, but in these situations I know that the EU is here to help find an unbiased solution. I have the right to justice and a fair trial, and I can access documents and records from EU bodies. I can also bring any case to the European Court of Justice if I feel that there’s cause for concern over the legality of an act, if power has been misused, or if I think an organisation shows a lack of competence. And if I feel I’m not treated fairly by a European institution, I can refer my case to the Ombudsman.
The workplace can be stressful at times, so it’s reassuring to know that the EU is protecting my rights when I’m there. If I feel like I’m being treated differently at work – perhaps due to my religion or sexual orientation – I can contact my National Equality Body, trade union, or any relevant non-governmental organisation, who will be able to help me. To make sure that I can have a full and happy career, EU laws mean that I should be treated equally by everyone I work with.
How it works
As someone living in the EU, my rights and freedoms are laid out in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. In this document, the EU makes it clear that everyone is born free and equal in the respect and rights they deserve. The charter ensures that citizens of the EU – people of different age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion and opinion – can live side-by-side in peace and harmony. These principles are made possible by the EU rule of law, which means that everyone in each society has the same freedoms and legal rights and should receive the same treatment. It safeguards my right to vote and prevents governments abusing their power.
Did you know
of Europeans say they are familiar with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, while 35% have never heard of it.
of Europeans have friends or acquaintances who are of a different religion or have different beliefs to them – and that number is rising.
The number of Roma people, Europe’s largest minority, who live in the EU. Most are EU citizens.
The EU was the first international organisation to explicitly recognise sexual orientation and gender identity as legal grounds of discrimination.
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How does the EU help you do what you love?
Ever dream of starting a business, studying abroad, or volunteering to help communities in need? And did you know the EU can support you in achieving all of these things? Discover everything the EU gives you to unlock your potential.