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My Portfolio

Scales of JusticeThe Justice portfolio is new – it was only created with the start of this European Commission, under the leadership of President José Manuel Barroso, in 2010. I am thus the first EU Justice Commissioner who is also responsible for citizenship and fundamental rights. My department, the Directorate General for Justice, deals with a wide range of areas such as civil and commercial law, consumer protection legislation, data protection, criminal law, free movement of citizens and equality legislation.

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Themis (3387 istock)Human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights must be more than concepts. Fundamental rights are the foundation on which the European Union is built: they must be continuously respected and protected. This commitment is laid down in the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights – Europe's "Bill of Rights" and the most modern codification of fundamental rights recognised in national constitutions.

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hands in the air (istock)Citizens are at the heart of the European project. The EU is not for politicians, it is for people. This principle is what guides our work here in the European Commission. The Lisbon Treaty marks a real watershed in highlighting the importance of citizens: It underscores their vital role in advancing the European project. It has given them new opportunities to address the European institutions. And it challenges the EU institutions to create a real Citizens’ Europe.

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