Know your rights
The EU 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 European Union.
This right is enshrined in article 36 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
What to do if your rights have been breached
The authorities of EU countries are bound to comply with the Charter of fundamental rights only when implementing EU law. Fundamental rights are protected by your country's constitution.
Addressing your complaint to the relevant national authority, government, national courts or a specialised human rights body.
What the European Union is doing to protect your rights
Directive 2004/113/EC implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services.
Directive 2000/43/ECagainst discrimination on grounds of race and ethnic origin, which applies also to social protection - including social security and healthcare - as well as to housing.
Chapter 4 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is on solidarity. This chapter also contains the following rights
- workers' right to information and consultation within the undertaking
- right of collective bargaining and action
- right of access to placement services
- protection in the event of unjustified dismissal
- fair and just working conditions
- prohibition of child labour and protection of young people at work
- family and professional life
- social security and social assistance
- health care
- access to services of general economic interest
- environmental protection
- consumer protection