Fundamental rights and the rule of law
On 7 June, the Council adopted conclusions on fundamental rights and rule of law as well as on the Commission's 2012 report on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.
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The Council called upon the Commission to take forward the debate on the possible need for and shape of methods or initiatives to better safeguard fundamental values, in particular the rule of law and fundamental rights of persons in the Union and to counter extreme forms of intolerance, such as racism, anti-semitism, xenophobia and homophobia.
In the light of the Commission discussions, the Council committed itself to giving further consideration to the possible need for and shape of such methods or initiatives to better safeguard fundamental values, in particular the rule of law and fundamental rights.
Concerning the Commission's report on the application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the Council noted that the Charter has become a dynamic reference point for the EU institutions and for the member states when implementing EU law. The increasing importance of the Charter is evidenced by the Court of Justice of the European Union and national courts systematically applying the Charter.
Ministers were also briefed on the state of play on the EU's accession to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR). The Council emphasizes that EU accession to ECHR will further enhance coherence in human rights protection in Europe, increase judicial dialogue and improve the consistency of case-law. It welcomed the agreement reached at negotiators' level on EU accession to the Convention.