Twenty years ago, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the Charter) was proclaimed. To celebrate its anniversary, join us for this joint European Commission and FRA conference on the 20th anniversary of the EU Charter, took place on 7 December 2020 between 10:00 – 11:30.

In partnership with the European Commission, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) had the pleasure to host an online discussion on the role of the Charter in the EU. Distinguished panellists shared their insight into popularising, reinforcing, and effectively applying the Charter in the fast-changing reality.

Following the adoption of a new Charter Strategy by the Commission to strengthen the application of the Charter in the EU, this event focused on both the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the protection of fundamental rights protection in the next decade.

Leading European politicians and experts shared their insight on how to strengthen the application of the Charter and make it meaningful for the people.



Věra Jourová

Věra Jourová

European Commission Vice-President, Commissioner for values and transparency

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.

Francisca Van Dunem

Minister of Justice, Portugal

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

President of the Court of Justice of the European Union

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

Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

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 Representation of the European Commission in France organized a national online debate following the joint European Commission and FRA conference. High-ranking experts were invited to discuss the role of the Charter in France: Ms George Pau Langevin, deputy to the Defender of Rights and vice-president in charge of the fight against discrimination and the promotion of equality; Mr Olivier Cousi, Batonnier of the Paris Bar Council and Ms Elise Barbé, referendary counselor at the Criminal division of the Court de Cassation. The debate aimed at raising awareness about the Charter in France and highlighted the added value of the Charter through concrete examples of its legal implementation. On concluding the discussion, the panellists asserted their determination to cooperate all together with the Commission to better promote the Charter of Fundamental Rights in France.



The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights is providing fundamental rights assistance and expertise to EU institutions and the 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 the EU protects your rights. The Commission’s strategy on strengthening the application of the Charter in the EU, is available here.

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