Charter of Fundamental Rights
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union enshrines certain political, social, and economic rights for EU citizens and residents. It was proclaimed by the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the European Commission at the European Council meeting in Nice on 7 December 2000.
The European Union Legislative Framework
The European Council defines the general political direction and priorities of the EU but it does not exercise legislative functions.
There are 3 main institutions involved in EU legislation:
Together, these three institutions produce through the 'Ordinary Legislative Procedure' the policies and laws that apply throughout the EU. Generally, it is the European Commission that proposes new laws and it is the European Parliament and Council that adopt them. The Member States and the Commission then implement them, and the Commission ensures that the laws are properly applied and implemented.
PreLex on Eur-Lex is the database on inter-institutional procedures which follows the major stages of the decision-making process between the Commission and the other institutions.
Finding EU Legislation
Eur-Lex (open access) includes:
Parliamentary Questions - Questions by MEPs to the Commission and Council.
The European e-Justice Portal
This is a useful research tool providing information on justice systems - it is designed for the layperson, as well as lawyers, litigants and researchers. It links to:
This is available on: