Article 1 Human dignity:
Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected.
Article 2 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
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 law,
- 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
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.
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
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.
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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 of frontiers.
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
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.
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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
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 interest.
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 punishment.
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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
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.
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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.
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Workers' right to information and consultation within the undertaking:
Workers or their representatives must, at the appropriate levels, be
guaranteed information and consultation
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 conflicts 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 unjustified 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 dignity.
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.
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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.
Article 35 Health care:
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 activities.
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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 development.
Union policies shall ensure a high level of consumer protection.
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Right to vote and to stand as a candidate at elections to the European
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
3. Every person has the right to have the Community make good any
damage caused by its institutions 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.
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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 Member States.
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 State.
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.
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Article 47 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.
Article 48 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.
Article 49 Principles of legality and proportionality of criminal offences and
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
Article 50 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.
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Article 51 Scope:
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.
Article 52 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.
Article 53 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 international 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 Fundamental Freedoms, and by the Member States' constitutions.
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Article 54 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.
- CHAPTER I
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