17 Jun 2015 by Ludwig Boltzmann

Charting the Charter – Equality bodies and fundamental rights in the EU | Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Menschenrechte

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, with particular focus on the practical use and benefits of the Charter for equality bodies.

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 increasingly refer to the Charter, illustrating its growing importance. However, to date, the use of the Charter by equality bodies at the domestic level remains limited.

This seminar was designed to enable the staff of the equality bodies 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 the 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.

Please find more information on the conference here and the seminar report in the attachment.

a. Katrin Wladasch, BIM researcher during a speach on the content of the Charter