Leveraging the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights for digital rights strategic litigation

By Alexandra Giannopoulou, 3rd May 2023


Since 1st December 2009, the European Union has its own written, legally binding Bill of Rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The Charter encompasses a broad range of civil, political, social and economic rights, together with rights peculiar to EU citizens, such as free movement within the EU or the right to privacy and the right to data protection.

The EU Charter, with its host of rights and freedoms, is an essential legal instrument in the protection of individuals’ rights within the digital sphere. However, research has shown that the Charter is not used to its full potential to protect and promote (digital) rights and that awareness of the Charter and the means available for its enforcement is low.[i] There is a need for targeted and case-specific evidence, awareness raising and training on the Charter’s potential to protect digital rights and the means to enforce it, specifically, through strategic litigation.

[i] See European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), “Analysis of responses from the consultation on a new European Commission Strategy on the effective application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights”, 8 June 2020

Introducing the Developing Information, Guidance, and Interconnectedness for (Charter) Rights Integration in Strategies for Enforcement (digiRISE) project

The digiRISE project aims to increase awareness of the potential of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in the defense and protection of digital rights, conduct capacity building, and strengthen the knowledge and ability of different stakeholders in enforcing digital rights using strategic litigation. DigiRISE is funded by the is funded by the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) programme of the European Union.

DFF’s first DIGIRISE workshop on the Opportunities and Challenges to Utilising the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

With digiRISE, the DFF will use participatory and consultative workshops as well as research by Charter experts to create a host of publicly available resources intended to be used by key actors for internal and external training purposes. The project will also develop easily accessible information on the connections between Charter rights and digital rights and will produce litigation strategies that rely on the Charter to protect digital rights.

To this effect, the first digiRISE workshop on the Opportunities and Challenges to Utilising the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights will be held on Thursday, 4 May 2023 in Berlin.

This workshop is the first of the two one-day workshop series that will take place in the initial twelve months of the DIGIRISE project. The second one of the workshop series will take place in November 2023. If you are interested in this topic and our actions, we encourage you to get in touch!

Alexandra Giannopoulou is the digiRISE project manager at the Digital Freedom Fund. Alexandra is a lawyer and a researcher with broad expertise in information law. Her research addresses the regulatory challenges of emerging techno-social systems, with a strong digital rights focus.


Illustration by Nicole Snaiderman