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Fundamental rights - Netherlands

Chapter 1 of the Constitution sets out the fundamental rights. These are rights that give citizens the freedom to live their lives without interference by the State. The Constitution also includes the rights to participate in society and political life. Examples of fundamental rights are: freedom of expression, the right to the protection of personal data, the right to vote and the right to equal treatment.

There are two types of fundamental rights:

  • ‘Classic’ fundamental rights: civil and political rights. These include the right to vote, freedom of expression, the right to privacy, religious freedom and the prohibition of discrimination.
  • Fundamental ‘social’ rights: economic, social and cultural rights. These include the right to housing, social security, healthcare and education.

Fundamental social rights are not usually enforceable in a court of law, whereas classic fundamental rights are. Thus a member of the public can bring a legal action if a municipal authority wants to ban a demonstration without good reason.

The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.
Member States in charge of the management of national content pages are in the process of updating some of the content on this website in the light of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. If the site contains content that does not yet reflect the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, it is unintentional and will be addressed.

Last update: 14/05/2018