The European Parliament gave its assent to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union with 534 votes in favour 85 against and 21 abstentions. MEPs also adopted an amendment with 477 votes in favour, 106 against and 35 abstentions urging Poland and the United Kingdom to make every effort to arrive, after all, at a consensus on the unrestricted applicability of the Charter.
The UK has a special protocol on its application which makes clear that the Charter will not extend the powers of any court –UK or European – to strike down UK legislation. On Wednesday 12 December in Strasbourg, the European Parliament will hold a ceremony on the proclamation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The Charter sets out in one place the rights which citizens across the EU already have, for example through the European Convention on Human Rights, or through existing EU law. Its aim is to ensure that EU institutions respect those fundamental rights. The Charter reaffirms existing rights and will apply to all Member States when they implement Union law.
UK and Poland position
There is a UK-specific protocol (see link below) which makes clear that the Charter will:
- Not extend the powers of any court –UK or European – to strike down UK legislation; and
- Not create any new justiciable rights in the UK. For example, it will not create any greater social or economic rights than are already provided in UK law. (The same applies to Poland)
- Approval by Parliament of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
- Text, as adopted by the EP on 29 November, will shortly be available here
- See Protocol No. 7 on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights to the UK and Poland
- See Point 8 on the application of the Charter having the same legal value as the Treaties
- Full text of the Charter of Fundamental Rights to the European Union (2000)
- Press Conference 29/11/2007 - Chairman of the Constit. Affairs Comm. Jo Leinen : Audio, 26:29
- Federico DE GIROLAMO, E-mail address : firstname.lastname@example.org, Telephone number in Brussels : (32-2) 28 31389 (BXL), Telephone number in Strasbourg : (33-3) 881 72850 (STR), Mobile number : (32) 0498.983.591
- Richard FREEDMAN, E-mail address : press-EN@europarl.europa.eu, Telephone number in Brussels : (32-2) 28 41448 (BXL)
Telephone number in Strasbourg : (33-3) 881 73785 (STR), Mobile number : (+32) 498 98 32 39