EU Law -The fundamental principles as set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
1. A historical development of these Fundamental Rights
The European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights sets out in a single document a range of essential civil, political and social rights protected in the EU. The Charter consists of rights and freedoms divided into six sections: Dignity, Freedom, Solidarity, Equality, Citizens’ rights and Justice. The European Parliament, Commission and Council officially announced the Charter in Nice in December 2000, and at the time had no legal effect.
Within the EU the rights of all citizens were established at varying times, ways and forms. The EU therefore sought to clarify these fundamental rights applicable to the EU in a more accessible form and bring them together into a single document. The Charter is the first EU document to unite and proclaim all the fundamental rights and values citizens of the EU should be permitted. It does not create new rights but instead gathers the current rights that were formerly found in an assortment of legislative sources such as in national EU laws and international conventions from the Council of Europe. The Charter applies to the EU institutions and bodies created under secondary legislation that must abide by the rights and observe the principles professed by the Charter. Only when EU Member States act within the scope of EU law, is the Charter applicable. After the coming into force of the Amsterdam Treaty the European Council on the 3rd and 4th of June 1999 assembled in Cologne to discuss and consider major issues for the future. The European Council concluded that at the EU’s current point of development the fundamental rights applicable at Union level should be consolidated in a Charter ‘in order to make their overriding importance and relevance more visible to the Union's citizens.’ Following the Cologne Presidency conclusions, the European Council in Tampere, Finland October 1999 assigned to a Convention built of 15 representatives of heads of state or government, 16 Members of the European Parliament, 30 members of national parliaments and a representative of the President of the European Commission, the role of drafting up the Charter. The European Commission first publicised its communication on the drafted Charter on the 13th September 2000. Although the Commission recommended several amendments to the Charter, overall it supported the preliminary draft. The Commission published its second communication on October 11 2000, embracing a pragmatic approach. Several days later the European Council held a meeting in Biarritz whereby the contents of the drafted EU Charter of Fundamental Rights was unanimously accepted and put forward to the European Commission and Parliament. Once the European Commission and Parliament had officially adopted the text, a ‘solemn declaration’ was set to be proclaimed by the European Council in Nice on the 8-9 of December 2000. Yet pressure remained for the text to be provided a Treaty basis, thus becoming legally binding. Subsequent to the summit in Biarritz, the French President Jacques Chirac stated in the press conference that the issue of the texts legal status remained undetermined. Following the meeting in Biarritz the European Parliament handed their agreement on 14 November 2000 and the Commission on 6 December 2000. The Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission gathered in Nice on 7, 8 and 9 December 2000, initiating proceedings with an exchange of views regarding the main issues for discussion. On behalf of their institutions the presidents of the European Parliament, Commission and Council signed and welcomed the combined declaration of the Charter. The Council wanted the Charter to be distributed broadly amongst citizens of the European Union. Following the Nice summit, the Charter receiving legal status was initially...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document