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Annual reports on the application of the Charter

Annual reports on the application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Objective of the reports

Since 2010, the European Commission has published an annual report on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the EU.

The annual report monitors progress in the areas where the EU has powers to act, showing how the charter has been taken into account in actual cases, notably when new EU legislation is proposed.

Since 2021, following the strategy to strengthen the application of the Charter in the EU, the Charter report focusses every year on a different thematic area of strategic relevance governed by EU law. 

The annual report provides an opportunity for an annual exchange of views with the European Parliament and the Council of the EU.

    2022 report

    The 2022 report on the application of the Charter of fundamental rights in the EU follows the thematic approach announced by the European Commission in the strategy to strengthen the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the EU. The 2022 report focuses on civic space and its role in protecting and promoting the fundamental rights under the Charter.

    Four areas of the report

    CSOs and rights defenders are crucial for the protection of fundamental rights

    Civil society organisations (CSOs) and rights defenders (National Human Rights Institutions, Equality bodies, Ombuds-institutions) play an essential role protecting and promoting the rights under the Charter. They carry out tasks both at national and EU level to raise awareness, monitor the respect of fundamental rights on the ground, support rights-holders and victims of fundamental rights violations in defending and enforcing their rights and ensure the respect of fundamental rights in decision-making processes.

    Protecting CSOs and rights defenders

    Given their crucial role in upholding EU values, it is important for Member States and EU institutions to protect CSOs and rights defenders. Whilst several Member States have taken positive measures to maintain the openness of the civic space, it has narrowed in recent years in certain Member States.

    The EU has developed different tools to support and sustain an enabling environment for CSOs and rights defenders, such as the Rule of Law reports, which reports on the situation of the civic space in all Member States, and the proposals for an anti-SLAPP Directive and Recommendation that will also contribute to create a safe environment for them.

    Supporting CSOs and rights defenders

    To ensure that CSOs and rights defenders can do their work effectively, Member States and the EU must provide adequate support, in particular funding. The report recognises that several Member States have increased financial support for CSOs in general and to compensate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and presents the main features of the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) programme.

    Empowering CSOs and rights defenders

    Given their crucial role in channelling the voice of the under represented, and in empowering individuals to participate in the shaping of laws and policies on matters of public interest, CSOs and rights defenders need to be closely involved in the decision-making process. The report shows several ways of engaging with them via consultations and dialogues as well as their key role helping national authorities when conceiving and implementing the national programmes to ensure that the EU-funded programmes are in compliance with the relevant provisions of the Charter.

    Based on the findings of this report, the Commission will launch a targeted debate with stakeholders through a series of thematic seminars on safeguarding the civic space. The outcome of this debate will be presented and discussed in a high-level roundtable meeting in 2023.

    2022 annual report on the application of the Charter of fundamental rights

    Targeted consultations

    The report relies on an assessment of four targeted consultations carried out by the Commission and analysed and summarised by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Input was provided by Member States, umbrella organisations of European CSOs working in the area of fundamental rights, international organisations, and the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) and the European Network of Equality Bodies (Equinet) and their members. It is also based on the results of an online consultation of CSOs run through the Fundamental Rights Agency Civil Society Platform.