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EU reports on application of fundamental rights charter

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(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission published its annual Report on the application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights Thursday, outlining EU initiatives taken in 2016 to strengthen fundamental rights.

The report also looks at how these rights were applied across a range of EU policies and in the Member States in 2016.

This year's report concludes that recent developments pose serious threats to fundamental rights.

In terms of specific legislative developments, the report notes that in 2016 the EU: made important steps to ensure protection of children in cross-border parental responsibility disputes (Brussels IIa regulation) and to help international couples to clarify the rules applicable to property regimes; launched an Online Dispute Resolution Platform to help strengthen consumer protection; agreed on a Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft; and maintained an important dialogue with Member States on the rule of law.

The final adoption of the data protection reform in April 2016 established one single set of rules giving people easier access to their own personal data, a right to data portability, a clarified "right to be forgotten", and certain rights in case of a data breach. The Commission also concluded the EU - U.S Privacy Shield and Umbrella Agreement to better protect Europeans' personal data when it is transferred to the U.S. The right to a fair trial was also given concrete effect in 2016 through the adoption of a set of directives on the presumption of innocence and the right to be present at trial; on legal aid; and on procedural rights for children.

With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union became legally binding. The provisions of the Charter are primarily addressed to the EU institutions and then to the national authorities only when they are implementing EU law.

2016 Report and Staff Working Document on the application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

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