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LUND UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES

EU accession to the ECHR in light of the specificity of the Union and Union law

Stavefeldt, Erik LU (2013) JURM02 20132
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
EUs anslutning till Europakonventionen har varit föremål för diskussion ända sedan slutet av 1970-talet. På grund av bristande rättslig grund i fördragen, har anslutning dock inte varit möjligt förrän ikraftträdandet av Lissabonfördraget år 2009. Artikel 6(2) FEU föreskriver nu en skyldighet för EU att ansluta sig till konventionen under förutsättning att avtalet om Unionens anslutning avspeglar nödvändigheten att bevara unionens och unionsrättens särdrag.

Trots att EU redan har ett välutvecklat skydd för grundläggande rättigheter, har flera anledningar lagts till grund för att unionen bör ansluta sig till Europakonventionen. Framförallt kommer unionens anslutning att innebära ett steg mot en mer sammanhållen ordning av mänskliga... (More)
EUs anslutning till Europakonventionen har varit föremål för diskussion ända sedan slutet av 1970-talet. På grund av bristande rättslig grund i fördragen, har anslutning dock inte varit möjligt förrän ikraftträdandet av Lissabonfördraget år 2009. Artikel 6(2) FEU föreskriver nu en skyldighet för EU att ansluta sig till konventionen under förutsättning att avtalet om Unionens anslutning avspeglar nödvändigheten att bevara unionens och unionsrättens särdrag.

Trots att EU redan har ett välutvecklat skydd för grundläggande rättigheter, har flera anledningar lagts till grund för att unionen bör ansluta sig till Europakonventionen. Framförallt kommer unionens anslutning att innebära ett steg mot en mer sammanhållen ordning av mänskliga rättigheter inom Europa. Dessutom kommer EUs anslutning medföra att även EUs institutioner kommer att omfattas av Europakonventionens bestämmelser och kan ställas till svars inför Europadomstolen.

Arbetet med att utforma ett anslutningsavtal har varit både tidskrävande och komplicerat. Den arbetsgrupp som har haft till uppgift att utforma avtalet har tvingats respektera, balansera och ibland kompromissa ett flertal, ibland motstående, intressen. Framförallt har kravet på att utarbeta ett avtal som respekterar unionens autonomi tvingat arbetsgruppen att konstruera ett relativt komplext rättsligt ramverk, anpassat för att rymma en federal-liknande, internationell organisation som EU inom Europakonventionens system, jämte sina egna medlemsstater.

I anslutningsavtalets kärna ligger den så kallade ”co-respondent-mekanismen”, som är ämnad att lösa problemet med att korrekt adressera klagomål till Europadomstolens mellan medlemsstaterna och unionen; samt instiftandet av en process för att garantera att EU-domstolen involverats före ett förfarande vid Europadomstolen där EU ska delta som tilltalad eller så kallad ”co-respondent”. Både ”co-respondent-mekanismen” och den föreslagna processen för att garantera att EU-domstolen involveras kan kritiseras för deras komplexitet och att de sätter unionen i en privilegierad position jämfört med de 47 stater som redan är anslutna till konventionen.

Det system som inrättas genom det föreslagna anslutningsavtalet kan också sägas institutionalisera och ge incitament till en fortsatt tillämpning av den doktrin som fastställts i det välkända Bosphorus-målet, där det fastställdes att EU måste anses erbjuda ett skydd för grundläggande rättigheter likvärdigt det som Europakonventionen ger. Även om Bosphorus-doktrinen inte bör godtas i sin nuvarande utformning, ter det sig lämpligt, kanske rent av nödvändigt, att, med hänsyn till unionsrättens särart, Europadomstolen i någon form fortsätter att visa EU-rätten den vördnad som Bosphorus-doktrinen grundats på, åtminstone i de fall där EU agerat som ett överstatligt organ och är involverad i en process i egenskap av ”co-respondent”. (Less)
Abstract
Accession of the EU to the ECHR has been subject to discussion since the late 1970s. Due to a lack of legal basis in the treaties, accession has not been possible until the entering into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009. Article 6(2) TEU now stipulates an obligation for the Union to accede to the Convention under the condition that the agreement relating to the accession makes provisions for preserving the specific characteristics of the Union and Union law.

Even though the EU has come a long way in developing its own fundamental rights protection regime, several reasons has been given for the Union to accede to the ECHR. Most importantly, it will represent a step toward a more coherent human rights regime within Europe as well as... (More)
Accession of the EU to the ECHR has been subject to discussion since the late 1970s. Due to a lack of legal basis in the treaties, accession has not been possible until the entering into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009. Article 6(2) TEU now stipulates an obligation for the Union to accede to the Convention under the condition that the agreement relating to the accession makes provisions for preserving the specific characteristics of the Union and Union law.

Even though the EU has come a long way in developing its own fundamental rights protection regime, several reasons has been given for the Union to accede to the ECHR. Most importantly, it will represent a step toward a more coherent human rights regime within Europe as well as bringing within the scope of ECHR the acts of the institutions of the EU.

The process of drafting an accession agreement has been long and complex as there has been several interest that the drafting group has had to respect, balance and sometime compromise. Most notably, the requirement to draft an agreement that respects Union autonomy has forced the drafters to construct a rather complex legal framework in order to accommodate a federal-like international entity as the Union within the system of the Convention next to its own Member States.

At the heart of the accession agreement lays the co-respondent mechanism, designed to solve the issue of correctly addressing ECtHR applications to the Member States and the Union respectively; and the institution of a process ensuring the involvement of Court of Justice prior to any proceedings before the ECtHR in which the EU will act as respondent or co-respondent. Both the co-respondent mechanism and the process for prior involvement may be criticized for their complexity and that they put the Union in a privileged position compared to the other 47 high contracting parties of the Convention.

Additionally, it could be said that the system set up by the draft accession agreement institutionalises and incentivises the continued application of the doctrine of equivalent protection established through the famous Bosphorus ruling. While the doctrine should not be upheld in its current shape and form, having regard to the specific nature of the European Union, a modified application of the deference shown through the doctrine seems likely, and perhaps even necessary, at least in cases where the EU has acted as a supranational entity and is involved in proceedings as co-respondent. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Stavefeldt, Erik LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20132
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
accession, ECHR, EU, EU autonomy, co-respondent, Bosphorus, doctrine of equivalent protection
language
English
id
4128110
date added to LUP
2013-11-08 13:10:31
date last changed
2013-11-08 13:10:31
@misc{4128110,
  abstract     = {Accession of the EU to the ECHR has been subject to discussion since the late 1970s. Due to a lack of legal basis in the treaties, accession has not been possible until the entering into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009. Article 6(2) TEU now stipulates an obligation for the Union to accede to the Convention under the condition that the agreement relating to the accession makes provisions for preserving the specific characteristics of the Union and Union law.

Even though the EU has come a long way in developing its own fundamental rights protection regime, several reasons has been given for the Union to accede to the ECHR. Most importantly, it will represent a step toward a more coherent human rights regime within Europe as well as bringing within the scope of ECHR the acts of the institutions of the EU.

The process of drafting an accession agreement has been long and complex as there has been several interest that the drafting group has had to respect, balance and sometime compromise. Most notably, the requirement to draft an agreement that respects Union autonomy has forced the drafters to construct a rather complex legal framework in order to accommodate a federal-like international entity as the Union within the system of the Convention next to its own Member States.

At the heart of the accession agreement lays the co-respondent mechanism, designed to solve the issue of correctly addressing ECtHR applications to the Member States and the Union respectively; and the institution of a process ensuring the involvement of Court of Justice prior to any proceedings before the ECtHR in which the EU will act as respondent or co-respondent. Both the co-respondent mechanism and the process for prior involvement may be criticized for their complexity and that they put the Union in a privileged position compared to the other 47 high contracting parties of the Convention. 

Additionally, it could be said that the system set up by the draft accession agreement institutionalises and incentivises the continued application of the doctrine of equivalent protection established through the famous Bosphorus ruling. While the doctrine should not be upheld in its current shape and form, having regard to the specific nature of the European Union, a modified application of the deference shown through the doctrine seems likely, and perhaps even necessary, at least in cases where the EU has acted as a supranational entity and is involved in proceedings as co-respondent.},
  author       = {Stavefeldt, Erik},
  keyword      = {accession,ECHR,EU,EU autonomy,co-respondent,Bosphorus,doctrine of equivalent protection},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {EU accession to the ECHR in light of the specificity of the Union and Union law},
  year         = {2013},
}