European Commission reports on its work in 2014 to promote the rights of older people

fundamental rights charter report 2014The European Commission published in May 8th its annual report, which shows how the EU and its Member States have given effect to the Charter of Fundamental Rights.


The Charter of Fundamental Rights binds EU institutions in all their actions: when they adopt laws and policies, when they manage EU funds, as well as in their external actions. EU member states are also obliged to respect the Charter when they implement EU law at the national level. The European Commission has to prepare an annual report on the application of the Charter to show what has been achieved by the EU and the Member States. The Commission’s report is accompanied by a Staff Working Document, which explains in details all EU actions across the areas of rights protected by the Charter.


Whereas last year’s accompanying Staff Working Document, was silent with regard to EU’s work on the rights of older people, the 2014 report reflects various EU activities related to this group. This important development builds on our calls for a fundamental rights approach on ageing issues and showcases EU competences to put in effect article 25 of the Charter on the rights of the elderly. It refers to the joint European Commission and the Social Protection Committee report on ‘Adequate social protection for long-term care needs in an ageing society’ and our event co-organised with the European Commission and the Council of Europe on the rights of older people in care settings. Besides, for the first time the report makes reference to the work of the United Nations’ Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing, to which the EU has been an active participant since 2010. Moreover the Commission takes stock of the recent Council of Europe recommendation on the promotion of human rights of older persons. The document also discusses the correlation of ageing and disability, briefly presents the implementation of the employment framework directive and underlines the renewed Commission’s commitment to adopt the draft horizontal equality directive.

Public opinion

The 2014 report was launched at the same time with a Eurobarometer survey that dealt with citizens’ awareness of the Charter, showing that few citizens know exactly what the Charter is and how it can be used.

AGE Platform Europe will continue to build awareness among senior citizens on the importance and impact of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and work with the European Commission, the Fundamental Rights Agency and the European Parliament, to ensure that they promote the rights of older people to the extent of their competences.

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For more information, you may contact, Nena Georgantzi,

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