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Development of the Protection of Fundamental Rights within the European Union - an Improved Human Rights Agenda?

Holmström, Henrik LU (2011) JURM01 20111
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
När den Europeiska ekonomiska gemenskapen bildades genom Romfördraget fanns inga uttryckliga hänvisningar till skyddet för de grundläggande rättigheterna. Den här uppsatsen beskriver framväxten av regelverket för de grundläggande rättigheter som har utvecklats av EU:s rättsväsende och lagstiftare i nära samarbete med medlemsstaterna och Europarådet. Målet med denna framställning är att presentera mervärdet av denna utveckling för denna specifika del av EU-rätten. Initialt inleddes utvecklingen med att EU-domstolen tidigt fastställde att de grundläggande rättigheterna utgjorde en del av de allmänna principerna inom gemenskapsrätten. Domstolen utvecklade, inte minst på grund av uttrycklig kritik av gemenskapsrättens förhållande till de... (More)
När den Europeiska ekonomiska gemenskapen bildades genom Romfördraget fanns inga uttryckliga hänvisningar till skyddet för de grundläggande rättigheterna. Den här uppsatsen beskriver framväxten av regelverket för de grundläggande rättigheter som har utvecklats av EU:s rättsväsende och lagstiftare i nära samarbete med medlemsstaterna och Europarådet. Målet med denna framställning är att presentera mervärdet av denna utveckling för denna specifika del av EU-rätten. Initialt inleddes utvecklingen med att EU-domstolen tidigt fastställde att de grundläggande rättigheterna utgjorde en del av de allmänna principerna inom gemenskapsrätten. Domstolen utvecklade, inte minst på grund av uttrycklig kritik av gemenskapsrättens förhållande till de nationella grundläggande rättigheterna och principen om EU-rättens företräde framfört av nationella författningsdomstolar, ett förhållningssätt i vilket de grundläggande rättigheterna gavs en framträdande placering inom gemenskapens rättssystem. De grundläggande rättigheterna, vilka skyddas av såväl nationella författningar som Europakonventionen, kom att bli en del av de allmänna principerna och ansågs därmed i praktiken likställda till de högst rankade normerna i gemenskapens rättsordning. Till följd av domstolens rättspraxis garanterades de grundläggande rättigheterna ytterligare skydd genom införandet av specifka regleringar i såväl Maastrichtfördraget som Amsterdamfördraget, låt vara att dessa i stort enbart utgjorde kodifiering av domstolens tidigare utslag. Hand i hand med denna utveckling och i kölvattnet av en ”återupptäckt” agenda för mänskliga rättigheter i Europa kunde man urskilja ytterligare utveckling av skyddet för de grundläggande rättigheterna. I samband med millennieskiftet växte en katalog av de grundläggande rättigheter inom EU, ”Stadgan om de grundläggande rättigheterna” samt ett övervakningscenter för grundläggande rättigheter, ”Byrån för grundläggande rättigheter” sakta fram. Stadgan proklamerades högtidligt i december 2000 medan Byrån för grundläggande rättigheter grundades i mars 2007. Båda dessa nya verktyg saknade tidigare motstycke inom EU:s rättsordning. Den allra senaste utvecklingen på området, om än med yttersta vikt för skyddet av de grundläggande rättigheterna, Lissabonfördraget undertecknades 2007 och trädde i kraft i december 2009. Lissabonfördraget bidrog till ett klargörande av de tvetydigheter som rörde Stadgans rättsliga ställning genom att göra den rättsligt bindande. Vidare möjliggjorde Lissabonfördraget för en framtida anslutning av EU till Europakonventionen. Trots dessa förtydliganden återstår fortfarande en rad oklarheter rörarande Stadgans omfång, tillämpning och tolkning. Det är upp till EUD att fortsättningsvis avgöra vilken inverkan Stadgan och dess innehåll kommer att ha på EU-rätten. Det kvarstår även oklarheter rörande EU:s framtida anslutning till EKMR. Det verkar dock som att en anslutning är relativt nära förestående vilket i så fall, med allra största säkerhet, skulle klargöra inte bara förhållandet mellan EU och Europakonventionen utan även innehållet i Stadgan och skyddet för de grundläggande rättigheterna inom EU i stort. (Less)
Abstract
The Treaty of Rome which established the European Economic Community contained no explicit references to the protection of fundamental rights. This thesis describes the emergence of an EU acquis covering the field of fundamental rights developed by the EU judiciary and legislators in close cooperation with the Member States and the Council of Europe. The objective of this essay is to present the added value of the development in this particular area of Union law. Thus, the starting point of the examination is the development of the case law by the European Court of Justice. The ECJ early established the existence of fundamental rights as general principles of Community law. Due to not least explicit criticism of the Community legal order... (More)
The Treaty of Rome which established the European Economic Community contained no explicit references to the protection of fundamental rights. This thesis describes the emergence of an EU acquis covering the field of fundamental rights developed by the EU judiciary and legislators in close cooperation with the Member States and the Council of Europe. The objective of this essay is to present the added value of the development in this particular area of Union law. Thus, the starting point of the examination is the development of the case law by the European Court of Justice. The ECJ early established the existence of fundamental rights as general principles of Community law. Due to not least explicit criticism of the Community legal order expressed by national constitutional courts concerning fundamental rights issues in relation to the supremacy of Community law the Court developed a doctrine where fundamental rights were given a prominent position within the legal system of the Community. Fundamental rights, as safeguarded by national constitutions and the European Convention on Human Rights, were to be considered as general principles with an aura equivalent to the highest-ranking norms of the Community. As a response to the jurisprudence of the ECJ, the legislative powers of the Union gave the protection of fundamental rights its truly deserved attention by including references and specific provisions in the Treaty of Maastricht and the Treaty of Amsterdam, albeit to a large extent merely codifying the findings of the Court. Pari passu, and in the light of a rediscovered European human rights agenda farther institutional development of the protection of fundamental rights within the Union could be discerned. In connection to the new millennium an EU fundamental rights catalogue, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and an EU monitoring center for human rights, the Fundamental Rights Agency emerged. The Charter of Fundamental Rights was “solemnly proclaimed” in December 2000 whereas the Fundamental Rights Agency was established in March 2007. These two novelties are both examples of instruments unprecedented in the Union. The most recent development, yet with an utmost importance for the protection of fundamental rights, is to be found in the Treaty of Lisbon, signed in 2007 and entered into force in December 2009. The Treaty of Lisbon clarified the ambiguities concerning the legal status of the Charter, making it a legally binding document attached as a protocol to the Treaty. It furthermore called for an EU accession to the ECHR. Despite the clarifications and additions to the fundamental rights protection in the Union flowing from the Treaty of Lisbon, uncertainties concerning the scope, application and interpretation of the Charter still remain. It is for the ECJ to further clarify and specify the impact of the Charter and the rights contained therein. Equally unclear is the future EU accession to the ECHR. Accession, however, appears to be imminent. In that case, it would indeed clarify not only the relationship between the EU and the ECHR but also the content of the Charter as well as the nature of the protection of fundamental rights within the European Union. (Less)
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author
Holmström, Henrik LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Development of the Protection of Fundamental Rights within the European Union - an Improved Human Rights Agenda?
course
JURM01 20111
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Charter of Fundamental Rights, Human Rights, Fundamental rights, EU law, Fundamental Rights Agency, EU accession to the ECHR
language
English
id
1974412
date added to LUP
2011-06-08 09:32:13
date last changed
2011-06-08 09:32:13
@misc{1974412,
  abstract     = {The Treaty of Rome which established the European Economic Community contained no explicit references to the protection of fundamental rights. This thesis describes the emergence of an EU acquis covering the field of fundamental rights developed by the EU judiciary and legislators in close cooperation with the Member States and the Council of Europe. The objective of this essay is to present the added value of the development in this particular area of Union law. Thus, the starting point of the examination is the development of the case law by the European Court of Justice. The ECJ early established the existence of fundamental rights as general principles of Community law. Due to not least explicit criticism of the Community legal order expressed by national constitutional courts concerning fundamental rights issues in relation to the supremacy of Community law the Court developed a doctrine where fundamental rights were given a prominent position within the legal system of the Community. Fundamental rights, as safeguarded by national constitutions and the European Convention on Human Rights, were to be considered as general principles with an aura equivalent to the highest-ranking norms of the Community. As a response to the jurisprudence of the ECJ, the legislative powers of the Union gave the protection of fundamental rights its truly deserved attention by including references and specific provisions in the Treaty of Maastricht and the Treaty of Amsterdam, albeit to a large extent merely codifying the findings of the Court. Pari passu, and in the light of a rediscovered European human rights agenda farther institutional development of the protection of fundamental rights within the Union could be discerned. In connection to the new millennium an EU fundamental rights catalogue, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and an EU monitoring center for human rights, the Fundamental Rights Agency emerged. The Charter of Fundamental Rights was “solemnly proclaimed” in December 2000 whereas the Fundamental Rights Agency was established in March 2007. These two novelties are both examples of instruments unprecedented in the Union. The most recent development, yet with an utmost importance for the protection of fundamental rights, is to be found in the Treaty of Lisbon, signed in 2007 and entered into force in December 2009. The Treaty of Lisbon clarified the ambiguities concerning the legal status of the Charter, making it a legally binding document attached as a protocol to the Treaty. It furthermore called for an EU accession to the ECHR. Despite the clarifications and additions to the fundamental rights protection in the Union flowing from the Treaty of Lisbon, uncertainties concerning the scope, application and interpretation of the Charter still remain. It is for the ECJ to further clarify and specify the impact of the Charter and the rights contained therein. Equally unclear is the future EU accession to the ECHR. Accession, however, appears to be imminent. In that case, it would indeed clarify not only the relationship between the EU and the ECHR but also the content of the Charter as well as the nature of the protection of fundamental rights within the European Union.},
  author       = {Holmström, Henrik},
  keyword      = {Charter of Fundamental Rights,Human Rights,Fundamental rights,EU law,Fundamental Rights Agency,EU accession to the ECHR},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Development of the Protection of Fundamental Rights within the European Union - an Improved Human Rights Agenda?},
  year         = {2011},
}