Why a Charter of Fundamental Human Rights in the EU?

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It has been argued that human rights politics is detrimental to social integration. But human rights are not merely abstract principles which, when positivated, secure negative freedom. When they are constitutionalised and turned into fundamental rights they contain a guarantee for equal freedom to all citizens. A charter of fundamental rights is a means to enhance the legal certainty of the citizens, reduce arbitrariness and moral imperialism and to institutionalise the right to justification. However, as the principle of popular sovereignty points to a particular society, and human rights point to an ideal republic, only with a cosmopolitan order can the problem of human rights politics be resolved.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9337.00240

Affiliations: University of Oslo, Norway

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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