On property restitution matters, UIPI is:
Fighting for the restitution of Property Rights in the former communist countries of the Balkan, Central and Eastern Europe, since 1990; and
Providing political support for the Property Restitution seeking members of UIPI in the former communist countries (such as Poland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovenia, Romania, Serbia and Albania).
Property ownership right is the central pillar of the UIPI and it is to protect this right that the Union was created almost 100 years ago. It is therefore not surprising that when the Berlin Wall fell, UIPI supported the battles of Central and Eastern European and later on Balkan countries’ citizens to get back their properties.
In contemporary Europe, the respect of property rights seems to constitute one of the pillars of the legal and moral order. This results directly from Art. 1 subparagraph 1 of the Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. By force of Article 6 of the Treaty of Lisbon, the system of protection for human rights provided for by the Rome Convention was incorporated to the legal system of the European Union. Property protection also constitutes one of the fundamental principles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, making an element of the Treaty of Lisbon.
Nonetheless, property restitution of unlawfully seized property to the former owners still encounters in practice ethical, political and economic barriers, even in countries that recently entered the EU.