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Fundamental rights

EU institutions must ensure their work does not violate people’s fundamental rights. The role of the Ombudsman is to ensure that they have the procedures and practices in place to uphold fundamental rights, and that these are properly applied.

Some areas of work of EU institutions and agencies are more exposed to potential fundamental rights breaches, notably related to the EU’s growing responsibilities in the areas of border management and asylum. This has been a particular focus for the Ombudsman.

The EU budget must also be implemented in a manner that upholds fundamental rights and promotes the EU’s fundamental rights commitments, including disability rights (under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities). The relevant EU institutions and agencies have a role in monitoring and verifying this, and the Ombudsman may seek to ensure that they are doing so.

The Ombudsman regularly receives complaints from individuals who believe their rights have been breached. She can also look into more systemic fundamental rights issues related to the work of EU administration.