Know your rights
The Union recognises and respects the entitlement to social security benefits and social services providing protection in cases such as maternity, illness, industrial accidents, dependency or old age, and in the case of loss of employment, in accordance with the rules laid down by Union law and national laws and practices.
Furthermore, everyone residing and moving legally within the European Union is entitled to social security benefits and social advantages in accordance with Union law and national laws and practices.
In order to combat social exclusion and poverty, the Union recognises and respects the right to social and housing assistance so as to ensure a decent existence for all those who lack sufficient resources, in accordance with the rules laid down by Union law and national laws and practices.
This right is enshrined in article 34 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 79/7/EEC equal treatment for men and women in matters of social security.
Directive 2006/54/EC equal treatment for men and women in occupational social security schemes.
Directive 2000/43/EC against 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