The European Union’s fundamental values are respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law. These values unite all the member states – no country that does not recognise these values can belong to the Union.
The main goal of the European Union is to defend these values in Europe and promote peace and the wellbeing of the citizens. For its part, the European Parliament seeks to ensure that these values are realised in the EU legislation.
The EU member states are pluralistic. Nobody may be discriminated against; instead, people and government representatives must respect others and be tolerant. Everybody must be treated fairly. Minority rights must be respected. Equality between men and men is promoted. Responsibility must be shared.
The European Union works for social equality. It develops social security and tries to protect the weakest. It seeks to prevent social exclusion and discrimination.
All these fundamental values are defined in the Treaty of Lisbon Lissabonin sopimuksessa (2009).
The Treaty of Lisbon officially confirmed the universal citizens’ rights as well as political, economic and social rights.
The Charter of Fundamental Rights forbids discrimination because of gender, race or the colour of the skin. Also, discrimination based on religion or sexual orientation is forbidden.
Additionally, the Charter of Fundamental Rights defines rights to data security, bioethics and good administration. It obligates employers to look after their employees. For example, employees have the right to access information, negotiate and go on strike.