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Charting the Charter: Equality bodies and fundamental rights in the EU

July 14th 2015

On 16-17 June 2015, Equinet hosted the conference ’Charting the Charter: Equality bodies and fundamental rights in the EU’ to facilitate exchange between equality bodies and national and European stakeholders on the role and importance of the Charter in safeguarding fundamental rights, ensuring equality and combating discrimination and it will have a particular focus on the practical use and benefits of the Charter for equality bodies.

Background

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (the Charter) became binding primary EU legislation with the entering into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. EU institutions in all their actions and Member States, when they are acting within the scope of EU law, have a legal obligation to ensure respect for fundamental rights enshrined in the Charter.

The Court of Justice of the EU as well as national courts in their case law refer increasingly often to the Charter, illustrating its growing importance. However, to date the use of the Charter by equality bodies at the domestic level remains limited.

Objectives

This seminar was designed to enable equality bodies’ staff to:

  • Discuss the legal nature of the Charter, and its relevance for practitioners and in particular equality bodies
  • Familiarise themselves with the content of the Charter
  • Learn about the Charter’s applicability at national level and its links with other human rights instruments such as the European Convention on Human Rights
  • Share their knowledge and experience during the sessions and during the breaks
  • Learn about good practice initiatives and projects by other equality bodies
  • Make better use of the Charter in their work at domestic level
  • Upon their return, inform their colleagues about the lessons learned at the training.

The seminar featured presentations by eminent external speakers and experts of equality bodies as well as interactive workshop sessions. Read the Seminar Report below for further details.

Seminar Report
Seminar Report


Speakers’ Presentations

OPENING

SESSION 1 - Introducing the Charter

Chair: Evelyn Collins, Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

SESSION 2 - Workshop on situations and cases where the Charter applies or might apply

Facilitators: Jayne Hardwick and Tamás Kádár, Anna Mazurczak, Katrin Wladasch

SESSION 3 - The content of the Charter

Chair: Mattias Falk, Equality Ombudsman, Sweden

SESSION 4 - The experience of NHRIs and NGOs

Chair: Kathalijne Buitenweg, Netherlands Institute for Human Rights

SESSION 5 - Links with other human rights instruments and national law

Chair: Jayne Hardwick, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Great Britain

SESSION 6 - Awareness raising and other ways of using the Charter

Chair: Anne Gaspard, Executive Director, Equinet

Photos

Charting the Charter: Equality Bodies and Fundamental Rights in the EU

Reading Material

Case study: Equal opportunities are too expensive
Case study: Equal opportunities are too expensive
Case study: Too young for reduced working hours
Case study: Too young for reduced working hours
EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
EP Report on Fundamental Rights in the European Union
EP Report on Fundamental Rights in the European Union
EC 2014 Report on the Application of the Charter of Fundamental rights
EC 2014 Report on the Application of the Charter of Fundamental rights
CFREU Report - The Charter of Fundamental Rights as a Living Instrument
CFREU Report - The Charter of Fundamental Rights as a Living Instrument
Fundamental Rights Compatibility - Guidelines for Council Preparatory Bodies
Fundamental Rights Compatibility - Guidelines for Council Preparatory Bodies