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Fundamental Rights in the EU: strengthening the EU Charter in the next decade


07 Dec 2020 10:00




Joint European Commission and FRA conference on the 20th anniversary of the EU Charter

Event Description

20 years ago, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union was proclaimed.

The European Commission and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) have the pleasure to host, in partnership with and, an online conference on the role of the Charter in the EU. The online discussion follows the adoption by the Commission of a strategy to strengthen the application of the Charter in the EU and will focus on the challenges and opportunities for the protection of fundamental rights protection in the next decade.

Leading European politicians and experts will share their insight on how to strengthen the application of the Charter and make it meaningful for the people. Watch the live-stream on this website to follow the discussion.

Conference Programme

10:00 – 10:10                                       Introduction – welcome words from the moderator

10:10 – 10:40                                       High Panel interventions on the following issues:

  • Věra Jourová | European Commission Vice-President, Commissioner for values and transparency

The European Commission’s new Charter Strategy:
a key component of the EU’s commitment to promote and protect the EU’s fundamental rights and values.

  • Michael O’Flaherty | Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

The role of FRA regarding the application of the Charter at the national level, capacity building, and tools to promote the Charter in line with the EU Charter strategy strands.

  • Koen Lenaerts | President of the Court of Justice of the European Union

The role of the Court of Justice of the EU in promoting a coherent and dynamic interpretation of fundamental rights across the EU.

  • Francisca Van Dunem | Minister of Justice, Portugal

The role of Member States in making the Charter a reality for all: contribution by the upcoming Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

11:00 – 11:30                                    Q&A session with conference participants

11:45 – 12:15                                    The Charter and the FRA: presentation of practical

  tools, reports, opinions, and other sources of information

The panel discussion will be followed by the Q&A session for the conference participants.

Following the high-level debate, you can join a presentation by the experts of the Fundamental Rights Agency on its tools and hands-on guidance on the EU Charter.

Interpretation will be available during this event (FR, DE, ES, PT, HU, PL).

The debate will be live-streamed on and you will be able to follow the conference in your preferred language directly on our website.

Invited participants will receive a link to the conference the day before the meeting. The number of places on the platform is limited and the order of registration is decisive. The event will also be available by live streaming on the Facebook eventFundamental Rights Agency YouTube channel and organisers’ Facebook profiles.

Information on the panelists

Věra Jourová

Věra Jourová is Vice-President of the European Commission with responsibility for Values and Transparency. Previously she was the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality 2015-2019, Before becoming a European Commissioner she was the Minister for Regional Development and Member of Parliament (MP) for Vysočina Region in the Czech Republic.



Van Dunem

Francisca Van Dunem is the Portuguese Minister of Justice since 2015. She graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Lisbon, in July 1977 and started her career as a public prosecutor in 1979. In 2016 she became Judge of the Supreme Court of Justice. She was director of the Department for Criminal Investigation and Prosecution of Lisbon from 2001 until 2007. In 2007 she was appointed Prosecutor General for the Lisbon region. Throughout her career, Van Dunem was a member of the Public Prosecution High Council and a member of the European Judicial Network in criminal matters. She served on a number of councils and committees dealing with crime and criminal procedures in Portugal, as well as in the Council of Europe and the European Union.


Koen Lenaerts

Baron Koen Lenaerts is the President of the Court of Justice of the European Union and a Professor of European Law at the University of Leuven (Belgium).  Previously, he was a lawyer in private practice at the Brussels Bar (1986-89). He was a Judge at the Court of First Instance of the European Communities (now the General Court), from 25 September 1989 to 6 October 2003. He has been a  Judge at the Court of Justice since 7 October 2003, serving as Vice-President from 9 October 2012 to 7 October 2015 and as President since 8 October 2015.


Michael O’Flaherty

Michael O’Flaherty is Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights. Previously he was an Established Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He has served as Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Member of the UN Human Rights Committee, and head of a number of UN Human Rights Field Operations.

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights is providing fundamental rights assistance and expertise to EU institutions and Member States. The FRA promotes the application of the Charter across the EU as a means to uphold the fundamental rights of everybody in the EU.

If you wish to know more about the EU Charter, have a look at the FRA Charter videos explaining the document chapter by chapter. Make sure to visit Charterpedia, an easy-to-use tool collecting information about the Charter and its national applicability.

Visit the European Commission website and the European e-Justice Portal to learn how your rights are protected by the EU. The Commission’s strategy on strengthening the application of the Charter in the EU, when adopted, will be available here.

Consider also registering for the subsequent session on FRA Charter material and tools allowing to become acquainted with relevant information sources and training tools.

Tune in to FRA’s channels on  Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn



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