(Brussels) “The European Union is not just a marketplace or a currency, it is first and foremost a Union of values. As the guardian of the Treaties, the European Commission has a special duty to defend fundamental rights and the rule of law all over the European Union”. This is how Frans Timmermans, first deputy president of the EU Commission, presents the publication of the yearly report on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which sums up the initiatives taken in 2016 “to strengthen fundamental rights and looks at the way such rights have been asserted in a number of policies of the European Union and its member states”. This year’s Report concludes that “the recent developments seriously threaten fundamental rights”. The hottest issues include terrorism, the fight against human trafficking, the threats that come from the web, the protection of women, and the protection of minorities. Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová adds: “The EU Commission works in all the areas of EU law to protect fundamental rights, for instance by protecting children’s sights, strengthening the right to protect one’s personal data, improving consumers’ rights, and laying down basic conditions for asylum seekers and migrants as well. We must keep working to make sure such rights are a reality for everyone in Europe. Human rights must apply to everybody”.