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Access to services of general economic interest

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.

    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.


    4 MAIJS 2017
    EU Charter of Fundamental Rights infograph - where to go in case of breach?
    (289.74 KB - PDF)