Varuh ДЌlovekovih pravic

In Vienna on the significance of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

Okrogla miza v organizaciji Agencije EU za temeljne pravice

On 21 and 22 March 2023, a roundtable discussion organised by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) was carried out in Vienna which was intended for the support of national human rights institutions when monitoring fundamental rights originating from the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Charter) and the aspect of fundamental rights in connection to the rule of law. After the roundtable, a study visit will be carried out at FRA, the purpose of which is to share experience in various fields of work where the use of the Charter is also relevant. The Ombudsman collaborates with FRA, the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI), and six national human rights institutions in a regional project dedicated to the promotion of the use of the Charter in appointing national bodies.

Dr Simona Drenik Bavdek, Assistant Head of the Centre for Human Rights at the Ombudsman, presented the way in which the Ombudsman has used the Charter in its work so far and also how the Charter is currently being applied in Slovenia, while Jerneja Turin, the analyst in the Centre, shared our experience and work in the field of migrant rights, asylum, and treatment of Ukrainian refugees with the colleagues.

The roundtable presented best practice examples of the use of the Charter on the national level. However, the discussion primarily revealed that there are still many opportunities for greater use of the Charter, both before the courts (especially through preliminary questions in accordance with Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) and when adopting legislation and in the work of the executive branch of government. Since the comparative view revealed that the national bodies very rarely refer to the Charter in their work, the participants concluded that additional training of judges, lawyers, officials, and high officials about the importance of the Charter is needed. Within the regional project, the Ombudsman thus plans educational activities about the Charter. Once again this year, the Ombudsman is preparing a contribution for the alternative report of ENNHRI about the state of the rule of law in the EU member states, which will be submitted to the European Commission.

The Charter is an important additional means for the implementation of fundamental rights. Individuals in general do not have direct access to the European Union Court of Justice, but can directly refer to the Charter in procedures before local courts when they refer to areas regulated by EU law. More on the Charter at the FRA webpage: