The Impact of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights

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EU Watch - issue 10 - Feb/Mar 2008
A publication of the Independence/Democracy Group

Letter from the editors

Dear "EUWatch" reader,
The Treaty of Lisbon inserts a new Article 6 into the Treaty on European Union (TEU) which stipulates that the Union “recognises the rights, freedoms and principles set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union” and that this Charter "shall have the same legal value as the Treaties."

  • What does this mean for the new Union as shaped by the Treaty of Lisbon?
  • Will the Charter extend the field of application of Union law or establish new powers or tasks for the Union?
  • Are specific national provisions, such as the Czech Republic's Beneš Decrees compatible with the Charter?
  • Will the citizen benefit from a more efficient and coherent fundamental rights protection or will, on the contrary, traditional national human rights be at risk?
  • Will this Charter and the Union’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (Article 6.2 TEU) raise competence and demarcation issues concerning the scope of the Charter, its relationship with individual Member States’ Constitutions and the European Convention on Human Rights?
  • May this lead to a lack of legal certainty and hence to a confusion of law and/or powers which will tend to detract from the notion of improving protection of fundamental rights?
  • Who will be responsible for interpreting this Charter and which Union principles, e.g. those of the single market, might limit the rights set out in the Charter?

These are the main questions addressed by the various contributors from the Czech Republic, Ireland, France and Germany.

While other article focus on the “unsettled” referendum debate in Austria and on Hungary’s "precipitous" ratification of the LisbonTtreaty, "Europe in Numbers" takes a critical view of the actual benefits of monetary union.

Hoping that you will enjoy reading our contributions and looking forward to receiving whatever comments or reactions you may care to give us, we remain,
Yours faithfully,
Klaus Heeger Karoly Lorant
Chief Editors

- download PDF file (2,127 kb) euwatch10.pdf

Independence/Democracy Group -
European Parliament, Rue Wiertz, 60 - D4 02 M055 - 1047 Brussels, Belgium

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