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EU Fundamental rights and citizenship (2007-2013)

04 December 2009
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 08 December 2009

This decision establishes the "Fundamental rights and citizenship" programme covering the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013. The programme forms part of the general programme "Fundamental rights and justice" and is intended to promote the development of a European society based on respect for fundamental rights, to strengthen civil society and encourage an open and transparent dialogue, as well as to fight racism and xenophobia and improve mutual understanding between the judicial and the administrative authorities and the legal professions.



Council Decision 2007/252/EC of 19 April 2007 establishing the specific programme "Fundamental rights and citizenship" for the period 2007-2013, in the framework of the general programme "Fundamental rights and justice".


The programme "Fundamental rights and citizenship", which is established by this decision, is intended to promote the development of a European society based on respect for fundamental rights. To this end, it provides for actions conducted by the European Commission, the Member States and non-governmental organisations.

A European society based on respect for fundamental rights

The programme supports the development of a European society based on respect for the fundamental rights recognised in Article 6(2) of the Treaty on European Union, including the rights resulting from citizenship of the Union. For this purpose, the aims of the programme are as follows:

  • to strengthen civil society and encourage an open, transparent and regular dialogue on fundamental rights;
  • to combat racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism;
  • to promote better understanding between religions and cultures;
  • to promote increased tolerance in the whole of the European Union;
  • to strengthen contacts, exchange of information and networks between the judicial and administrative authorities and the legal professions;
  • to encourage judicial training in order to improve mutual understanding between the abovementioned authorities and professions;

Furthermore, the programme provides the following specific objectives:

  • to promote fundamental rights and inform all citizens about their rights, including those resulting from European citizenship;
  • to encourage the citizens of the Union to participate actively in the democratic life of the Union;
  • to examine respect for fundamental rights in the EU and its Member States when Community law is implemented;
  • to support non-governmental organisations and other bodies of civil society so that they can actively promote fundamental rights, the rule of law and democracy;
  • to create the relevant structures to promote inter-faith and multicultural dialogue at Community level.

To conduct specific actions to achieve the objectives of the programme

The programme provides for actions conducted by the European Commission, the authorities of the Member States and non-governmental organisations. It also provides for grants following requests for proposals.

The types of actions comprise the following:

  • specific actions conducted by the European Commission (studies and research work, polls and investigations, conferences and meetings of experts, organising actions and public events, creating and running websites, developing and distributing information media, etc.);
  • transnational projects of Community interest presented by an authority or a body of a Member State or an international or non-governmental organisation. At least two Member States or at least one Member State and a candidate country or an acceding country must participate in these projects;
  • support for non-governmental organisations or other bodies pursuing objectives of general European interest that are covered by the programme;
  • operating subsidies for the joint financing of the expenses connected with the permanent working programme of the Conference of the European Constitutional Courts and of the Association of the Councils of State and Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions of the European Union. These bodies manage a number of databases which gather together, at European level, national decisions relating to the implementation of Community law. The expenses must be incurred for an objective of general European interest.

To establish a programme for citizens

The programme is addressed to Community nationals and nationals of third countries who are lawfully resident within the territory of the European Union. It is also addressed to citizens of the participating countries (acceding countries, candidate countries and the countries of the Western Balkans participating in the stabilisation and association process). Other target groups are organisations of civil society and other groups which defend the objectives of the programme.

Provided that they are established in the EU or in one of the third countries participating in the programme, access to the programme is open to the following entities in particular:

  • public or private institutions and bodies;
  • universities;
  • research institutes;
  • non-governmental organisations;
  • national, regional or local authorities;
  • international organisations;
  • other non-profit-making organisations.

The programme makes possible joint activities with competent international organisations in the field of fundamental rights, such as the Council of Europe.

Monitoring and implementing the programme

Every year, the Commission publishes a list of the actions financed under this programme. The available budgetary resources are entered annually in the general budget of the European Union. The available annual credits are authorised by the budgetary authority (the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union) within the limits of the financial framework.

The European Commission shall ensure that the beneficiary presents technical and financial reports on the state of progress of the work in respect of any action financed by the programme, as well as a final report within three months of the end of the action. Furthermore, the Commission ensures that the Community's financial interests are protected by applying preventive measures against fraud, corruption and any other illegal activity.

The Commission will present an annual stocktaking of the implementation of the programme, an intermediate report assessing the results obtained (by 31 March 2011 at the latest), a communication on the continuation of the programme (by 30 August 2012 at the latest) and an assessment report after the programme finishes (by 31 December 2014 at the latest).

Complementarity with other Community programmes

This programme seeks to complement and establish synergies with other Community programmes, in particular the framework programmes 'Security and protection of freedoms' and 'Solidarity and management of migration flows', as well as with the PROGRESS programme.


Decision 2007/252/EC - 28.04.2007 (Applicable from 01.01.2007) - OJ L 110 of 27.04.2007

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