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Integration and Fundamental Rights in Europe

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Abstract

Every time there is the creation of a form of Union of States, a process of integration is put in motion. A sequence of crises and achievements characterises such a development, which in the case of the EU can be defined as Europeanisation/European integration. This monograph rethinks the path towards European integration, which is intended as ‘the process of creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe’ (Article 1(2) Treaty of the European Union (TEU)). Challenges to this project have largely occurred due to tensions between the process of closer integration and the protection of nation-states’ sovereignty. Our major contribution is to offer a fresh look on integration, posing EU foundational legal values at its heart. These values are enshrined in Article 2 TEU, which states that ‘The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail’. We submit that, amongst the common values, fundamental/human rights constitute the drivers of European integration and should be at the core of all EU’s working and initiatives. Thus, to rethink the path towards Europeanisation, we propose to re-focus the attention on the ‘Integration Through Rights’ (ITRs) idea, which constitutes the backbone of this work.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of LawOxford Brookes UniversityOxfordUK
  2. 2.Brunel Law SchoolBrunel University LondonUxbridgeUK

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