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The EU and Issues of Human Rights Protection: Same Solutions to More Acute Problems?

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Academic literature repeatedly calls for the EU's accession to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950 (hereinafter Convention 1 ). Similarly, the Lisbon Treaty provides that the EU must accede to the Convention. [Correction made here after initial online publication.] This might seem odd as the European Court of Justice (hereinafter ECJ 2 ) has over the years developed abundant case-law on human rights protection in the EU, and the EU has not so long ago adopted a, albeit non-binding, catalogue of human rights (the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (hereinafter Charter)). But after all these years, cases, and Treaty amendments, the EU is in fact going back to the ECJ's 1996 landmark opinion which recommended the EU's formal accession to the Convention, 3 already proposed in 1979 by the Commission. 4 One reason for this might be that, in the meantime, human rights issues have multiplied in the application of EU law, especially in areas such as the Second and Third Pillars where—at least initially—fewer human rights protection guarantees were foreseen.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: New York University

Publication date: March 1, 2010


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