Political Identity and Fundamental Rights Protection in the European Union
Edited By Gabriele de Angelis and Paulo Barcelos
Section II: The Role of Fundamental Rights in the Inter-institutional Struggle
Section II The Role of Fundamental Rights in the Inter-institutional Struggle Enhancing Fundamental Rights Control in Europe. The European Parliament’s Scrutiny of Member States GABRIELE DE ANGELIS1 The European Parliament and fundamental rights: an ambiguous relationship Fundamental rights were bound to be an important component of European constitutionalisation since the beginning. Despite the fact that the inclusion of the Charter of Fundamental Rights (CFR) in the Treaties was subject to controversies, the will to wrap up the Union’s political principles in a representative document to hold up to citizens and candidate countries alike as a sign of po- litical identity and commitment has accompanied the very idea of constitutionalisation all along. The necessity to close ranks around a core set of political principles was not least motivated by the prospective Eastern enlargement and the necessity to clarify what kind of commitment was expected by newcomers and how high the bar would be set for accessing and remaining within the Union. Hence the introduction from the Treaty of Amsterdam onwards of Art. 6 and 7 TEU: an “atomic bomb” meant to secure a minimum standard of democratic life common to all member states. The idea of exerting a control upon the democratic guarantees of member states was implicit in such an institutional innovation. And yet, the monitoring on the part EU institutions was all but taken for granted by both member states and Parliament. 1 Gabriele De Angelis is “Ciência 2007” Researcher in Political Theory at the Instituto de Filosofia...
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