The peoples of Europe, in creating an ever closer union
among them, are resolved to share a peaceful future based on
Conscious of its spiritual and moral heritage, the Union is
founded on the indivisible, universal values of human
dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity; it is based on
the principles of democracy and the rule of law. It places
the individual at the heart of its activities, by
establishing the citizenship of the Union and by creating an
area of freedom, security and justice.
The Union contributes to the preservation and to the
development of these common values while respecting the
diversity of the cultures and traditions of the peoples of
Europe as well as the national identities of the Member
States and the organisation of their public authorities at
national, regional and local levels; it seeks to promote
balanced and sustainable development and ensures free
movement of persons, goods, services and capital, and the
freedom of establishment.
To this end, it is necessary to strengthen the protection of
fundamental rights in the light of changes in society,
social progress and scientific and technological
developments by making those rights more visible in a
This Charter reaffirms, with due regard for the powers and
tasks of the Community and the Union and the principle of
subsidiarity, the rights as they result, in particular, from
the constitutional traditions and international obligations
common to the Member States, the Treaty on European Union,
the Community Treaties, the European Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the
Social Charters adopted by the Community and by the Council
of Europe and the case-law of the Court of Justice of the
European Communities and of the European Court of Human
Enjoyment of these rights entails responsibilities and
duties with regard to other persons, to the human community
and to future generations.
The Union therefore recognises the rights, freedoms and
principles set out hereafter.
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European
Journal of the European Communities, 18.12.2000, C 364, S.