The rights established by the Charter are guaranteed in a more or less explicit and detailed manner by EU law. The 98 paragraphs of the Revised Charter can be matched to binding provisions of primary or secondary EU law, albeit with some differences of both form and substance.

In addition to the relevant provisions of the Treaty on European Union (Article 6) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (particularly, in Article 18, the section concerning individuals' freedom of movement and, above all, that on social policy), most of the rights guaranteed by the Revised Charter are matched by corresponding safeguards in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, but with significant exceptions relating to certain articles and paragraphs.

Without being exhaustive, it can be said that in the case of secondary legislation (directives and regulations), the EU lays down requirements in a significant number of fields of specific relevance to social rights.

In this context or the context of other initiatives taken in the field of intergovernmental co-operation, the EU has addressed, to varying extents and in varying detail, a large number of social rights-related issues. It has also looked into issues including work organisation and working conditions, occupational health and safety, co-ordination in social security matters, social dialogue, free movement of workers, social inclusion and the fight against poverty, non-discrimination and the needs of vulnerable people such as people with disabilities and elderly people.

At present the 28 EU member states are part of the "system" of the Charter treaties (the 1961 Charter, the Additional Protocol of 1988, the Additional Protocol of 1995 and the Revised Charter), albeit with differences regarding the commitments they have entered into: nine states are bound by the 1961 Charter (five of which are also bound by the Protocol of 1988) and nineteen by the Revised Charter. With the exception of two states, France and Portugal – which have accepted all the paragraphs of the Revised Charter - the others have ratified a greater or lesser number of provisions of either version of the Charter. Only fourteen EU member states have accepted the 1995 Protocol establishing a system of collective complaints. This results in a variety of situations and contracted obligations.

There is a clear lack of uniformity in the acceptance of Charter provisions by the EU member states. This is the result of the choices made by each State Party when expressing its sovereign will on the basis of the Charter acceptance system described above. In this context, it should be noted that while applying the EU’s binding standards in an area covered by the Charter, some member States of the European Union have not accepted the Charter provisions establishing legally equivalent guarantees.

Coming events

Back 329th session of the European Committee of Social Rights

329th session of the European Committee of Social Rights

The European Committee of Social Rights will hold its 329th session from 12 to 16 September 2022 in hybrid mode.

The Committee will continue the examination of the national reports* for Conclusions XXII-3 (2022) of the 1961 Charter and for Conclusions 2022 of the revised Charter with respect to the provisions belonging to thematic group 3 on labour rights. Several pending collective complaints will also be examined over the week.

The Committee will also take stock of the situation related to the procedure provided for by Article 22 of the European Social Charter on “non-accepted provisions”. The countries concerned by exercise 2022 are Albania, Finland, North Macedonia and Türkiye. They were invited to submit a written report.

In addition, the Committee will continue to examine national reports on the follow-up given by States to ECSR decisions in the framework of the collective complaints procedure. The States Parties concerned in 2022 are Croatia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia and Sweden.

* All the national reports submitted by States Parties to both 1961 Charter and the Revised Charter can be found on the country profiles web pages.

Strasbourg, France 12-16/09/2022
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Resources and links

Department of Social Rights

Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law
Council of Europe
1, quai Jacoutot
F – 67075 Strasbourg Cedex

Tél. +33 (0)3 90 21 49 61



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