European Union

Justice and Fundamental Rights

Justice and Fundamental Rights

Protection, rights and justice for EU citizens

EU citizens enjoy many freedoms and protections, including personal, civil, political, economic and social rights, personal data protection, anti-discrimination laws, and borderless travel through most EU countries.

Every EU citizen enjoys the same fundamental rights based on the values of equality, non-discrimination, inclusion, human dignity, freedom and democracy. These values are fortified and protected by the rule of law, spelled out in the EU Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. EU citizens have the right to live, work, study and get married in other EU countries. The EU works to keep Europeans' personal data safe and empowers them as consumers.

Citizens have legal protection in any EU country, and criminals can be pursued across borders and repatriated, thanks to the European arrest warrant. Judicial authorities cooperate through the European Union's Judicial Cooperation Unit (Eurojust) to ensure legal decisions made in one EU country are recognised and implemented in any other EU country.

The Court of Justice of the European Union ensures EU law is applied in the same way in all EU countries, and settles legal disputes between national governments and EU institutions. In certain circumstances, it can also be used by citizens, companies or organisations to take action against an EU institution which may have infringed their rights.

The EU works to improve internal security by cooperating on law enforcement, border management, civil protection and disaster management. This includes taking action against organised criminals and helping national police forces work better together through the European Police Office (EUROPOL).

EU countries are also working to develop a coherent EU immigration policy that takes advantage of the opportunities offered by legal immigration, while tackling the challenges of irregular immigration. Work is ongoing to improve security through better external border controls, while making it easier for those with a right to enter the EU to do so.

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