EU joining the European Convention on Human Rights. New

Report
EU joining the ECHR
New opportunities under two legal systems
EQUINET HIGH-LEVEL LEGAL SEMINAR
Brussels, 1 – 2 July 2010
Dr. Mario OETHEIMER
EU Agency for Fundamental Rights
(FRA)
EU Agency for Fundamental Rights
(FRA)
What does the FRA do?
• Information and data collection and analysis
• Evidence-based advice to European Union institutions and
Member States
• Co-operation with civil society and awareness-raising
What is the FRA’s geographical scope?
The FRA only deals with the 27 Member States of the
European Union
EU Agency for Fundamental Rights
(FRA)
Which are the areas the FRA is focusing on in its
research?
• racism, xenophobia and related intolerance
• discrimination based on sex, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability,
age or sexual orientation and against persons belonging to minorities and any
combination of these grounds (multiple discrimination);
• compensation of victims
• the rights of the child, including the protection of children
• asylum, immigration and the integration of migrants
• visa and border control
• participation of the EU citizens in the Union's democratic functioning
• information society and, in particular, respect for private life and protection
of personal data
• access to efficient and independent justice
Principal questions
• What is the expected timeline of EU accession to the ECHR?
• What is the scope of protection of the Charter and the ECHR?
• What are the implications and possibilities for European citizens to challenge EU
decisions?
• What will be the future relationship between and respective roles of the Court of
Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights?
4
Outline
1. The Lisbon Treaty: A binding Charter of
Fundamental Rights
2. The Lisbon Treaty: EU Accession to the
ECHR
3. An example of current judicial practice
The Lisbon Treaty: A binding Charter
of Fundamental Rights
6
A binding Charter
A binding Charter
The “Union recognises the rights, freedoms and principles set out in the Charter of
Fundamental Rights of 7 December 2000, as adopted at Strasbourg, on 12
December 2007, which shall have the same legal value as the Treaties.
The Provisions of the Charter shall not extend in any way the
competences of the Union as defined in the Treaties. The rights, freedoms and
principles in the Charter shall be interpreted in accordance with the general provisions
in Title VII of the Charter governing its interpretation and application and with due
regard to the explanations referred to in the Charter, that set out the sources of those
provisions.” (Art. 6 Para. 1 TEU)
7
A binding Charter
What does this mean for
EU institutions and
individuals?
-
A binding Charter
EU institutions as well
The as
“Union recognises the rights, freedoms and principles set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of
7the
December
2000, as adopted
at Strasbourg,
Member
States
when on 12 December 2007, which shall have the same
legal
value as the Treaties.
The Provisions
implementing
EU law
haveof the Charter shall not extend in any way the
competences
of the Union as defined in the Treaties. The rights, freedoms and principles in the Charter
the obligation
to respect the
shall be interpreted in accordance with the general provisions in Title VII of the Charter governing its
fundamental rights set out
interpretation and application and with due regard to the explanations referred to in the Charter, that
inoutthe
EU ofCharter
set
the sources
those provisions.” (Art. 6 Para. 1 EU)
- Individuals may rely on
the EU Charter before the
Court of Justice of the
European
Union
8
A binding Charter
What does that mean in
terms of nondiscrimination?
-
A binding Charter
Article 21 of the Charter:
The ““Union
the rights, freedoms and principles set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of
Anyrecognises
discrimination
7 December
2000,
adoptedground
at Strasbourg,
on 12 December 2007, which shall have the same
based
onasany
such
legalas
value
as race,
the Treaties.
The Provisions
sex,
colour,
ethnicof the Charter shall not extend in any way the
competences
of origin,
the Union asgenetic
defined in the Treaties. The rights, freedoms and principles in the Charter
or social
shall features,
be interpreted inlanguage,
accordance with the general provisions in Title VII of the Charter governing its
interpretation
and application
and with
due regard to the explanations referred to in the Charter, that
religion
or belief,
political
set outor
theany
sources other
of those provisions.”
(Art. 6 Para. 1 EU)
opinion,
membership of a national
minority, property, birth,
disability, age or sexual
orientation shall be
prohibited.”
9
The Lisbon Treaty: EU Accession
to the ECHR
10
EU Accession to the ECHR
 “The Union shall accede to the European
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and
Fundamental Freedoms. Such accession shall not
affect the Union’s competences as defined in the
Treaties.” (Art. 6 Para. 2 EU)
Art. 59 Para. 2 ECHR provides for the
possibility of EU accession
Cumbersome ratification procedure
foreseen in Art. 218 Para. 8 TFEU
Various safeguards to be respected as
outlined in Protocol 8 on the accession
agreement
11
ECHR accession: State of
Play and Way Ahead
• On 26 May 2010 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of
Europe (COE) set up an Informal Group that will conduct the
negotiations on the COE side.
• On 4 June 2010, the Council of the European Union has
adopted a negotiation mandate.
• In parallel, the EP adopted a Resolution on 19 May 2010 in
plenary
• The COE and the EU will start the negotiations on 6 July 2010
negotiator.
• Once the accession agreement will be finalised, Art. 218 (8) to be
applied and all 47 COE Member States need to ratify the
accession agreement as well.
12
ECHR accession
ECHR
 “The Union shall accede toWhat
the
does that mean in practice
European Convention for the Protectionfor the relationship between
of Human Rights and Fundamental the CJEU and the ECtHR?
Freedoms. Such accession shall not
2) accession to the ECHR
-CJEU’s decision reviewable by
affect the Union’s competences
as defined in the Treaties.” (Art. 6 the
ECtHR
Para. 2 EU)
-CJEU will align its case law
with
the relevant ECtHR case law
(where the
EU was a party to previous
proceedings in the same matter)
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ECHR accession
ECHR
 “The Union shall accede to the
European Convention for the Protection
of Human Rights and Fundamental
Freedoms. Such accession shall not
What does that mean in
practice for an
individual?
2) accession to the ECHR
affect the Union’s competences Individuals will be able to
as defined in the Treaties.” (Art. 6
Para. 2 EU)
bring a complaint about a
violation of their ECHR
rights by the EU before
the ECtHR provided they
exhaust domestic
remedies
14
Current Judicial Practice
Interaction between the two regional systems: a recent example
from the ECtHR jurisprudence concerning discrimination
Schalk and Kopf v. Austria (24 June 2010): recent evidence of a
concrete impact of the binding Charter on the ECtHR’s
jurisprudence in the area of non-discrimination
15
Handbook on European case-law on nondiscrimination: need for the inter-institutional
collaboration between the EU and CoE
16
Any questions or comments?
[email protected]
17

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