The Impact of the Charter

  • Justus Schönlau
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)

Abstract

Initial reactions to the completion of the Charter Convention’s works in October 2000 were mixed with one observer describing the likely effect of the Charter as that of ‘water on marble’ (i.e. none),1 while others hailed it as giving a ‘heart to the technocratic EU’,2 or even as a ‘milestone for European integration’.3 These assessments came in response to the symbolically-charged adoption ceremony of the Charter draft by the Convention, during which all but two Convention members rose to their feet and listened to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy as they applauded the successful completion of their task.4 However, what role does the Charter and its process play in the wider debate about the legitimation of the European Union?

Keywords

Europe Assure Turkey Arena Univer 

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Notes

  1. 5.
    For a list of legal references to the Charter as of 1 July 2003 see: S. Peers & A. Ward, The European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2004), Appendix 1.Google Scholar
  2. 6.
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  3. 7.
    R. Bellamy & A. Warleigh, ‘From an Ethics of Integration to an Ethics of Participation: Citizenship and the Future of the European Union’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 27 (1998), 447–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 8.
    See A. von Bogdandy, ‘The European Union as a Human Rights Organization? Human Rights at the Core of the European Union’, Common Market Law Review, 37 (2000), 1307–38, esp. pp. 1334–5.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    Ibid. For a discussion of the link between the commonly assumed ‘democratic deficit’ and the idea of a legitimacy deficit’ see also C. Lord, A Democratic Audit of the European Union (Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2004).Google Scholar
  6. 21.
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    See G. Gaja, ‘New Instruments and Institutions for Enhancing the Protection of Human Rights in Europe?’ in Alston & Weiler (eds) The EU and Human Rights-, for the pre-Charter situation see N. Reich, ‘Zur Notwendigkeit einer Europäischen Grundrechtsbeschwerde’, Zeitschrift für Rechtspolitik, 33 (2000), 375–9.Google Scholar
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    See H. Hohmann, ‘Die Charta der Grundrechte der Europäischen Union-Ein wichtiger Beitrag zur Legitimation der EU’, Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, B 52–3 (2000), 5–11.Google Scholar
  12. 51.
    For a discussion of this problem in the context of the German constitutional court, see J. Limbach, ‘Das letzte Wort — Präsidentin Jutta Limbach über die politische Macht des Bundesverfassungsgerichts’, Spiegel-Gespräch, Der Spiegel, 40 (01.10.2001), 62–8.Google Scholar
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  18. 79.
    Despite the fact that Schmidt develops her categorisation of discourses on the basis of how national discourses are influenced by integration, it also holds for the European level itself. V. A. Schmidt, ‘Democracy and Discourse in an Integrating Europe and a Globalising World’, European Law Journal, 6 (2000), 277–300, p. 279.Google Scholar
  19. 83.
    J. S. Dryzek, Deliberative Democracy and Beyond: Liberals, Critics, Contestations (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000), p. 1.Google Scholar
  20. 87.
    For an elaboration of these conditions, with reference to Elster’s proposal, see J. Neyer, ‘Discourse and Order in the EU’, Journal of Common Market Studies, 41 (2003), 687–706.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    O. de Schutter, ‘Europe in Search of its Civil Society’, European Law Journal, 8 (2002), 198–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    One prominent exception in the Charter debates was the clear statement of the French government and its representative that a reference to Europe’s religious heritage in the preamble would be ‘unacceptable’ to a secular country like France, see also J. Meyer (ed) Kommentar zur Charta der Grundrechte der Europäischen Union (Nomos Verlag, Baden-Baden, 2003), p. 22.Google Scholar
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    For a development of this argument in the context of the drafting of a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland, see C. Harvey, ‘The Politics of Rights and Deliberative Democracy: the Process of Drafting a Northern Irish Bill of Rights’, European Human Rizhts Law Review, 1 (2001), 48–70.Google Scholar
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    For a comparision between the two methods based on the Constitutional Convention (but still in many respects applicable to the Charter Convention) see J. Pollack & P. Slominiski, ‘The Representative Quality of EU Treaty Reform: a Comparison between the IGC and the Convention’, European Integration, 26 (2004), 201–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 139.
    While the projection of the EU’s values towards the outside seems to have had little effect on the legitimacy debate so far, mainly because EU policy in this area is still in the early stages of its development (see for example J. Zielonka (ed.) Paradoxes of European Foreign Policy (Kluwer Law International, The Hague, 1998)), in the internal context the Austrian case for example suggests that the effects on legitimacy are negative.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Justus Schönlau 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Justus Schönlau
    • 1
  1. 1.European ParliamentBrusselsBelgium

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