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The EU Education Policy in the Post-Lisbon Era

A Comprehensive Approach


Caroline U. Amann

This book provides a comprehensive view of the current state of affairs and possible developments in EU education law and policy. It covers the innovations brought about by the Lisbon Treaty as well as the Lisbon/EU 2020 Strategy and its implications for education and training and analyses the EU programme Erasmus+. Moreover, it takes a close look at the right to education as contained in the Charter of Fundamental Human Rights of the European Union and outlines the main trends in European Court of Justice case law. Finally, it focuses on cohesion policy measures and assesses the education initiatives undertaken by macro-regional strategies and the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) European Region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino.


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6. A Right to Education – The FundamentalRights based Approach/The LegalPerspective


115 6. A Right to Education – The Fundamental Rights based Approach/The Legal Perspective Education has the potential to unlock the door to equality and participation[;] it con- stitutes the basis necessary for empowerment of each individual, and for the promotion of all human rights.418 6.1 Fundamental Rights Protection in the EU It was not until the Maastricht Treaty that fundamental rights were formally rec- ognised in EU primary law (cf. ex Article F(2) TEU). Although the TEEC did not include any reference to fundamental rights and it took some time for the “first distinct contours” of an EU constitutional framework for fundamental rights protection to emerge,419 the ECJ has always been vocal about its commitment to protect fundamental rights stating that [i]n fact, respect for fundamental rights forms an integral part of the general principles of law protected by the ECJ. The protection of such rights, whilst inspired by the consti- tutional traditions common to Member States, must be ensured within the framework of the structure and objectives of the Community.420 In 1977, the EP, the Council and the Commission issued a joint declaration de- claring their commitment “to the protection of fundamental rights, as derived in particular from the constitutions of the Member States and the European Con- vention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.”421 Al- though the declaration was no more than an affirmation of little practical effect, it was nonetheless of symbolic significance, for the institutions indicated their willingness to...

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