The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights: Waste of Time or Wasted Opportunity? (Download)

Although the EU Charter includes workers’ rights and trade union rights, it has failed to meet the expectations of the people of Europe. Why?

Keith Ewing | Feb 2020
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About the book

The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights was solemnly proclaimed by the heads of government at Nice in December 2000. Although the new Charter includes workers’ rights and trade union rights, it has failed to meet the expectations of the people of Europe. Why?

In this publication, Professor Keith Ewing assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the Charter. In his opinion the Charter offers visible ‘rights’ in line with those envisaged by the original authors. However, these ‘rights’ serve little practical purpose, as they are largely unenforceable. In the author’s words, “it is a Charter which teases and mocks, but does not yet deliver anything of substance”.

The author goes on to suggest how the status of the social and economic rights envisaged in the Charter could be given more weight. He suggests incorporating the Charter into a new Constitutional text of the European Union. Such a text is currently being discussed by a Constitutional Convention, which met for the first time in February 2002.

Incorporating the Charter would show that the EU is serious about the protection of rights. Its provisions would then be legally enforceable and binding on the EU institutions, Member States and employers who operate within their borders.

A5; 64pp; ISBN 1 873271 94 8;

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