The EU and human rights

The EU and human rights © EUThe EU and human rights © EU

The European Union sees human rights as universal and indivisible. It actively promotes and defends them both within its borders and when engaging in relations with non-EU countries.

The European Union is founded on a strong engagement to promote and protect human rights, democracy and rule of law worldwide. Sustainable peace, development and prosperity cannot exist without respect for human rights. This commitment underpins all internal and external policies of the European Union.

Within EU borders, those principles are embedded in the EU founding treaties, reinforced by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights adopted in 2000, and strengthened still further when the Charter became legally binding with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009.

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Key documents

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Doorstep (in Italian) by Federica MOGHERINI at the European Council Special meeting

LIVE Special meeting European Council - arrivals (main feed)

Annual report on human rights and democracy - Closing statements by Federica MOGHERINI and Pier Antonio PANZERI (S&D,IT), Rapporteur

LIVE EP Plenary session Annual report on human rights and democracy in the world 2013 and the EU policy on the matter - report Pier Antonio PANZERI (S&D,IT)