From the Charter of Fundamental Rights to the Crisis, the State of the Art
As Europe struggles with the most profound economic and social crises in recent history, what happens to the promises of freedom, democracy, equality and respect for the inviolable and inalienable rights of the human person proclaimed in the Preamble of the Treaty on European Union? How does the European Union intend to demonstrate its commitment to fundamental social rights at a time of widespread deregulation and an increasingly precarious labour market? How can we further enhance the democratic and efficient functioning of European institutions when there is a growing distance between citizens and political elites?
This publication is based on papers given at the international conference «Citizenship and Solidarity in the European Union – from the Charter of Fundamental Rights to the Crisis: The State of the Art», which took place in the School of Law at the University of Minho, Portugal, in May 2012. The line-up of contributors includes scholars from southern and northern Europe and Brazil, and together the papers constitute a lively and productive debate about the future of Europe.
Is the Area of Freedom Security and Justice a Factor of Development and Competitiveness in the European Union? (Nuno Piçarra)
Universidade Nova de Lisboa
1. As is well known, the Lisbon Treaty extensively amended the rules regarding the area of freedom, security and justice (AFSJ) and largely incorporated what had been agreed upon in the failed Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (Constitutional Treaty). Above all the Lisbon Treaty implemented the decision to subject to the “community method” the components of the AFSJ that were formerly governed by an intergovernmental logic (constituting the EU Third Pillar on police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters and on European criminal law).
The progressive centrality acquired by the AFSJ – which the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) qualifies as internal policy/action of the European Union (EU or Union), but the external dimension of which is particularly relevant – was confirmed by its precedence in relation to the internal market, in the list of goals of the EU, established by Article 3 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU). By establishing the, primarily political, goal of offering EU citizens “an area of freedom, security and justice without internal frontiers, in which the free movement of persons is ensured in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, asylum, immigration and the prevention and combating of crime” [Article 3(2)], ahead of the fundamentally economic goal of “establishing an internal market” [Article 3(3)], the Lisbon Treaty went even further than the Constitutional Treaty. Indeed, under Article I-3(2) of the...
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