EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

Negative freedom of association

Negative freedom of association refers to the right of individuals to refuse to associate with others in collective organisations, and usually arises in the context of individual workers refusing to join trade unions. The right enshrined in Article 12 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union to ‘freedom of association, in particular in political, trade union and civic matters’ fails to mention explicitly the negative right of association. The Explanations of the Praesidium, which drafted the EU Charter, state that this Article corresponds to Article 11 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR). The negative right of association has been implied into the ECHR by the European Court of Human Rights’ interpretation of Article 11 ECHR.

See also: freedom of association.


Please note: the European industrial relations dictionary is updated annually. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them.
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