Fundamental Rights

Fundamental Rights in Europe

Content about Fundamental Rights from the publication “The ABC of European Union law” (2010, European Union) by Klaus-Dieter Borchardt.

The fundamental values and concepts at the heart of the EU also include the fundamental rights of individual citizens of the Union. The history of Europe has for more than 200 years been characterised by continuing efforts to enhance the protection of fundamental rights. Starting with the declarations of human and civil rights in the 18th century, fundamental rights and civil liberties have now become firmly anchored in the constitutions of most civilised states. This is especially true of the EU Member States, whose legal systems are constructed on the basis of the rule of law and respect for the dignity, freedom and the right to self-development of the individual. There are also numerous international conventions on the protection of human rights, among which the European Convention on Human Rights is of very great significance.

Framework of Fundamental Rights

It was not until 1969 that the Court of Justice established a body of caselaw to serve as a framework of fundamental rights. This was because in the early years the Court had rejected all actions relating to basic rights on the grounds that it need not concern itself with matters falling within the scope of national constitutional law. The Court had to alter its position not least because it was itself the embodiment of the primacy of Union law and its precedence over national law; this primacy can only be firmly established if Union law is sufficient in itself to guarantee the protection of basic rights with the same legal force as under the national constitutions.

Stauder judgment

The starting point in this case-law was the Stauder judgment, in which the point at issue was the fact that a recipient of welfare benefits for war victims regarded the requirement that he give his name when registering for the purchase of butter at reduced prices at Christmas time as a violation of his human dignity and the principle of equality. Although the Court of Justice came to the conclusion, in interpreting the Community provision, that it was not necessary for recipients to give their name so that, in fact, consideration of the question of a violation of a fundamental right was superfluous, it declared finally that the general fundamental principles of the Community legal order, which the Court of Justice had to safeguard, included respect for fundamental rights. This was the first time that the Court of Justice recognised the existence of an EU framework of fundamental rights of its own.

Bans on discrimination

Initially, the Court developed its safeguards for fundamental rights from a number of provisions in the Treaties. This is especially the case for the numerous bans on discrimination which, in specific circumstances, address particular aspects of the general principle of equality. Examples are the prohibition of any discrimination on grounds of nationality (Article 18 TFEU), preventing people being treated differently on the grounds of gender, race, ethnic origin, religion or beliefs, disability, age or sexual orientation (Article 10 TFEU), the equal treatment of goods and persons in relation to the four basic freedoms (freedom of movement of goods – Article 34 TFEU; freedom of movement of persons – Article 45 TFEU; the right of establishment – Article 49 TFEU; and freedom to provide services – Article 57 TFEU), freedom of competition (Article 101 et seq. TFEU) and equal pay for men and women (Article 157 TFEU). The four fundamental freedoms of the Community, which guarantee the basic freedoms of professional life, can also be regarded as a Community fundamental right to freedom of movement and freedom to choose and practise a profession. Explicit guarantees are also provided for the right of association (Article 153 TFEU), the right to petition (Article 24 TFEU) and the protection of business and professional secrecy (Article 339 TFEU).

Rights secured by Community Law

The Court of Justice has steadily developed and added to these initial attempts at protecting fundamental rights through Community law. It has done this by recognising and applying general legal principles, drawing on the concepts that are common to the constitutions of the Member States and on the international conventions on the protection of human rights to whose conclusion the Member States have been party. Prominent among the latter is the European Convention on Human Rights, which helped to shape the substance of fundamental rights in the Union and the mechanisms for their protection. On this basis, the Court has recognised a number of freedoms as basic rights secured by Community law: right of ownership, freedom to engage in an occupation, the inviolability of the home, freedom of opinion, general rights of personality, the protection of the family (e.g. family members’ rights to join a migrant worker), economic freedom, freedom of religion or faith, as well as a number of fundamental procedural rights such as the right to due legal process, the principle of confidentiality of correspondence between lawyer and client (known as ‘privileged communications’ in the common-law countries), the ban on being punished twice for the same offence, or the requirement to provide justification for an EU legal act.

Principle of equal treatment

One particularly important principle regularly invoked in legal disputes is the principle of equal treatment. Put simply, this means that like cases must be treated alike, unless there is some objectively justifiable ground for distinguishing them. But the Court of Justice has held, contrary to international custom, that this principle does not preclude nationals and home-produced goods from being subjected to stricter requirements than citizens or products from other Member States. This ‘reverse discrimination’ is the inevitable result of the limited scope of the Union’s powers and cannot be remedied by Community law. Under the Court’s judgments issued up to now, the rules requiring liberalisation, which flow from the fundamental freedoms, apply only to cross-border trade. Rules regulating the production and marketing of home-produced goods or the legal status of nationals in their own Member State are affected by Community law only if the Union has introduced harmonisation measures.

The jurisprudence of the Court of Justice has given the Union an extensive body of quasi-constitutional law. In practical terms, the principle of proportionality is foremost among these. What it means is that the objectives pursued and the means deployed must be weighed up and an attempt made to keep them in proper balance so that the citizen is not subjected to excessive burdens. Among the other fundamental principles underlying Union law are the general principles of administrative law and the concept of due process: legitimate expectations must be protected, retroactive provisions imposing burdens or withdrawing legitimately acquired advantages are precluded and the right to due legal process – natural justice is the traditional term for this – must be secured in the administrative procedures of the Commission and the judicial procedures of the Court of Justice. Particular value is also attached to greater transparency, which means that decisions should be taken as openly as possible, and as closely as possible to the citizen. An important aspect of this transparency is that any EU citizen or legal person registered in a Member State may have access to Council or Commission documents. All grants and subsidies from the EU budget must also be disclosed to natural or legal persons by means of databases accessible to every Union citizen.

With all due respect for the achievements of the Court of Justice in the development of unwritten fundamental rights, this process of deriving ‘European fundamental rights’ had a serious disadvantage: the Court of Justice was confined to the particular case in point. It was therefore unable to develop fundamental rights from the general legal principles for all areas in which this appeared necessary or desirable. Nor was it able to elaborate the scope of and the limits to the protection of fundamental rights as generally and distinctively as was necessary. As a result, the EU institutions could not assess with enough precision whether they were in danger of violating a fundamental right or not. Nor could any Union citizen who was affected judge without further effort in every case whether one of his or her fundamental rights had been infringed.

European Convention on Human Rights

For a long time, EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights was regarded as a way out of this situation. In its Opinion 2/94, however, the Court held that, as the law stood, the EU had no competence to accede to the convention. The Court stated that respect for human rights was a condition for the lawfulness of EU acts. However, accession to the convention would entail a substantial change in the present Union system for the protection of human rights in that it would involve the EU entering into a distinct international institutional system as well as integration of all the provisions of the convention into the Union legal order.

The Court took the view that such a modification of the system for the protection of human rights in the EU, with equally fundamental institutional implications for the Union and for the Member States, would be of constitutional significance and would therefore go beyond the scope of the dispositive powers provided for in Article 352 TFEU. The EU’s accession to the convention was therefore specifically provided for in Article 6(2) of the EU Treaty. However, the Treaty of Lisbon made a further, decisive step towards the creation of a common constitutional law for the EU and put the protection of fundamental rights in the EU on a new footing. The new article on fundamental rights in the EU Treaty (Article 6 TEU) refers to the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, declaring it to be binding for the actions of the EU institutions and the Member States, insofar as they apply and implement Union law.

This Charter of Fundamental Rights is based on a draft previously drawn up by a convention of 16 representatives of the Heads of State or Government of the Member States and of the President of the European Commission, 16 Members of the European Parliament, and 30 members of national parliaments (two from each of the then Member States) under the chairmanship of Professor Roman Herzog, and was solemnly proclaimed to be the ‘European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights’ by the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission on 7 December 2000. During the negotiations on a European constitution, this Charter of Fundamental Rights was revised and made an integral part of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe of 29 October 2004.

Following the failure of the Treaty, the Charter of Fundamental Rights was again solemnly proclaimed as the ‘European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights’, this time as a separate instrument, by the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission on 12 December 2007 in Strasbourg. The EU Treaty refers to this version of the charter in binding form. This makes the Charter of Fundamental Rights legally binding and also establishes the applicability of fundamental rights in Union law. However, this does not apply to Poland and the United Kingdom. These two Member States were unable, or did not wish, to adopt the system of fundamental rights of the charter, as they were concerned that they would be obliged to surrender or at least change certain national positions concerning, for example, religious issues or the treatment of minorities. They are therefore not bound by the fundamental rights of the charter, but by the case-law of the Court of Justice, as previously.

See the following cases:

  • Case 29/69 Stauder [1969] ECR 419 (fundamental rights; general principles of law).
  • Case 11/70 Internationale Handelsgesellschaft [1970] ECR 1125 (fundamental rights; general principles of law).
  • Cases 146/73 and 166/73 Rheinmühlen I, II [1974] ECR 33 and 139 (extent to which national courts are bound by rulings of higher courts).
  • Case 4/73 Nold [1974] ECR 491 (fundamental rights; general principles of law; common constitutional traditions).
  • Case 175/73 Amalgamated European Public Service Union [1974] ECR 917 (freedom to form associations).
  • Case 130/75 Prais [1976] ECR 1589 (freedom of religion and belief).
  • Case 149/77 Defrenne [1978] ECR 1381 (fundamental rights; general principles of law).
  • Case 44/79 Hauer [1979] ECR 3727 (fundamental rights; right of property).
  • Case 85/79 Hoffmann-La Roche [1979] ECR 461 (fundamental rights; principle of the right to be heard).
  • Case 293/83 Gravier [1985] ECR 593 (equal treatment; students’ fees).
  • Case 234/85 Keller [1986] ECR 2897 (freedom to pursue a trade or profession).
  • Joined Cases 46/87 and 227/88 Hoechst [1989] ECR 2919 (fundamental rights; principle of the right to be heard; administrative procedure; inviolability of the home; reference to the ECHR).
  • Case 265/87 Schräder [1989] ECR 2263 (right of ownership; freedom to pursue a trade or profession; restrictions).
  • Case 5/88 Wachauf [1989] ECR 2633 (restrictions on fundamental rights).
  • Case C-219/91 Ter Voort [1992] ECR I-5485 (freedom of expression).
  • Case C-97/91 Borelli [1992] ECR I-6313 (fundamental rights; right to take action in the courts).
  • Case C-357/89 Raulin [1992] ECR I-1027 (equal treatment; prohibition of discrimination on grounds of nationality).
  • Case C-132/91 Katsikas [1992] ECR I-6577 (fundamental rights; freedom to pursue a trade or profession).
  • Case C-2/92 Bostock [1994] ECR I-955 (fundamental rights; right of ownership; freedom to pursue a trade or profession; observance when implementing EU law).
  • Case C-280/93 Germany v Council [1994] ECR I-5065 (right of ownership; freedom to pursue a trade or profession; restrictions in the public interest).
  • Case C-415/93 Bosman and others [1995] ECR I-4921 (fundamental rights; freedom to pursue a trade or profession).
  • Case C-55/94 Gebhard [1995] ECR I-4165 (fundamental rights; right of establishment; freedom to pursue a trade or profession).
  • Opinion 2/94 [1996] ECR I-1759 (fundamental rights; accession by the EU to the ECHR).
  • Case C-377/98 Netherlands v Parliament and Council [2001] ECR I-7079 (human dignity; right to physical integrity).
  • Case C-274/99 P, Connolly [2001] ECR I-1611 (freedom of opinion).
  • Case C-60/00 Carpenter [2002] ECR I-6279 (protection of the family).
  • Case C-112/00 Schmidberger [2003] ECR I-5659 (bounds of Community fundamental rights; freedom of assembly and freedom of opinion).
  • Case C-276/01 Steffensen [2003] ECR I-3735 (right to effective legal protection).
  • Case C-25/02 Rinke [2003] ECR I-8349 (general principle of equality).
  • Case C-36/02 Omega [2004] ECR I-9609 (bounds of fundamental rights).

Fundamental rights and freedoms in Sweden

In the Swedish Constitution: The Instrument of Government (SFS nr: 1974:152)

Chapter 2 of the Instrument of Government has the headline “Fundamental rights and freedoms”. Here is the content of Chapter 2:

  • Article 1 provides the following: Every citizen shall be guaranteed the following rights and freedoms in his relations with the public institutions: 1. freedom of expression: that is, the freedom to communicate information and express thoughts, opinions and sentiments, whether orally, pictorially, in writing, or in any other way; 2. freedom of information: that is, the freedom to procure and receive information and otherwise acquaint oneself with the utterances of others; 3. freedom of assembly: that is, the freedom to organise or attend a meeting for the purposes of information or the expression of opinion or for any other similar purpose, or for the purpose of presenting artistic work; 4. freedom to demonstrate: that is, the freedom to organise or take part in a demonstration in a public place; 5. freedom of association: that is, the freedom to associate with others for public or private purposes; 6. freedom of worship: that is, the freedom to practise one’s religion alone or in the company of others. The provisions of the Freedom of the Press Act and the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression shall apply concerning the freedom of the press and the corresponding freedom of expression on sound radio, television and certain like transmissions, as well as in films, video recordings, sound recordings and other technical recordings. The Freedom of the Press Act also contains provisions concerning the right of access to official documents.
  • Article 2 provides the following: Every citizen shall be protected in his relations with the public institutions against any coercion to divulge an opinion in a political, religious, cultural or other such connection. He shall furthermore be protected in his relations with the public institutions against any coercion to participate in a meeting for the formation of opinion or a demonstration or other manifestation of opinion, or to belong to a political association, religious community or other association for opinion referred to in sentence one.
  • Article 3 provides the following: No record in a public register concerning a citizen may be based without his consent solely on his political opinions. Every citizen shall be protected, to the extent set out in more detail in law, against any violation of personal integrity resulting from the registration of personal information by means of automatic data processing.
  • Article 4 provides the following: There shall be no capital punishment. (see more about the Constitution of Sweden here)
  • Article 5 provides the following: Every citizen shall be protected against corporal punishment. He shall likewise be protected against any torture or medical influence aimed at extorting or suppressing statements.
  • Article 6 provides the following: Every citizen shall be protected in his relations with the public institutions against any physical violation also in cases other than cases under Articles 4 and 5. He shall likewise be protected against body searches, house searches and other such invasions of privacy, against examination of mail or other confidential correspondence, and against eavesdropping and the recording of telephone conversations or other confidential communications.
  • Article 7 provides the following: No citizen may be deported from or refused entry into the Realm. No citizen who is domiciled in the Realm or who has previously been domiciled in the Realm may be deprived of his citizenship unless he becomes at the same time a citizen of another state, either with his own express consent or because he has taken up employment in the public service. The foregoing notwithstanding, it may however be laid down that children under the age of eighteen shall have the same nationality as their parents or as one parent. It may further be laid down that, in pursuance of an agreement with another state, a person who has been a citizen also of the other state from birth, and who has his permanent domicile there, shall forfeit his Swedish nationality at or after the age of eighteen.
  • Article 8 provides the following: Every citizen shall be protected in his relations with the public institutions against deprivation of personal liberty. He shall also in other respects be guaranteed freedom of movement within the Realm and freedom to depart the Realm.
  • Article 9 provides the following: If a public authority other than a court of law has deprived a citizen of his liberty on account of a criminal act or because he is suspected of having committed such an act, he shall be entitled to have the matter examined before a court of law without undue delay. This shall not, however, apply where the question relates to the transfer to the Realm of responsibility for executing a penal sanction involving deprivation of liberty which has been imposed in another state. If, for reasons other than those specified in paragraph one, a citizen has been taken forcibly into custody, he shall likewise be entitled to have the matter examined before a court of law without undue delay. In such a case, examination before a tribunal shall be equated with examination before a court of law, provided the composition of the tribunal has been laid down in law and it is stipulated that the chairman of the tribunal shall be currently, or shall have been previously, a permanent salaried judge. If examination under paragraph one or two has not been referred to an authority which is competent under the provisions laid down therein, such examination shall take place before a court of general jurisdiction.
  • Article 10 provides the following: No penalty or penal sanction may be imposed in respect of an act which was not subject to a penal sanction at the time it was committed. Nor may any penal sanction be imposed which is more severe than that which was in force when the act was committed. The provisions thus laid down with respect to penal sanctions apply in like manner to forfeiture and other special legal effects attaching to a criminal act. No taxes or charges due the State may be exacted except inasmuch as this follows from provisions which were in force when the circumstance arose which occasioned the liability for the tax or charge. Should the Riksdag find that special reasons so warrant, it may however provide under an act of law that taxes or charges due the State shall be exacted even although no such act had entered into force when the aforementioned circumstance arose, provided the Government, or a committee of the Riksdag, had submitted a proposal to this effect to the Riksdag at the time concerned. A written communication from the Government to the Riksdag announcing the forthcoming introduction of such a proposal is equated with a formal proposal. The Riksdag may furthermore prescribe that exceptions shall be made to the provisions of sentence one if it considers that this is warranted on special grounds connected with war, the danger of war, or grave economic crisis.
  • Article 11 provides the following: No court of law shall be established on account of an act already committed, or for a particular dispute or otherwise for a particular case. Proceedings in courts of law shall be open to the public. (see more about the Constitution of Sweden here)
  • Article 12 provides the following: The rights and freedoms referred to in Article 1, points 1 to 5, in Articles 6 and 8, and in Article 11, paragraph two, may be restricted in law to the extent provided for in Articles 13 to 16. With authority in law, they may be restricted by other statute in cases under Chapter 8, Article 7, paragraph one, point 7, and Article 10. Freedom of assembly and freedom to demonstrate may similarly be restricted also in cases under Article 14, paragraph one, sentence two. The restrictions referred to in paragraph one may be imposed only to satisfy a purpose acceptable in a democratic society. The restriction must never go beyond what is necessary having regard to the purpose which occasioned it, nor may it be carried so far as to constitute a threat to the free formation of opinion as one of the fundaments of democracy. No restriction may be imposed solely on grounds of a political, religious, cultural or other such opinion. A draft law under paragraph one, or a proposal for the amendment or ab-rogation of such a law, shall be held in abeyance, unless rejected by the Riksdag, for a minimum of twelve months from the date on which the first Riksdag committee report on the proposal was submitted to the Chamber, if so moved by at least ten members. This provision notwithstanding, the Riksdag may adopt the proposal, provided it has the support of at least five sixths of those voting. Paragraph three shall not apply to any draft law prolonging the life of a law for a period not exceeding two years. Nor shall it apply to any draft law concerned only with 1. prohibition of the disclosure of matters which have come to a person’s knowledge in the public service, or in the performance of official duties, where secrecy is called for having regard to interests under Chapter 2, Article 2 of the Freedom of the Press Act; 2. house searches and similar invasions of privacy; or 3. deprivation of liberty as a penal sanction for a specific act. The Committee on the Constitution determines on behalf of the Riksdag whether paragraph three applies in respect of a particular draft law.
  • Article 13 provides the following: Freedom of expression and freedom of information may be restricted having regard to the security of the Realm, the national supply of goods, public order and public safety, the good name of the individual, the sanctity of private life, and the prevention and prosecution of crime. Freedom of expression may also be restricted in commercial activities. Freedom of expression and freedom of information may otherwise be restricted only where particularly important grounds so warrant. In judging what restrictions may be introduced by virtue of paragraph one, particular regard shall be had to the importance of the widest possible freedom of expression and freedom of information in political, religious, professional, scientific and cultural matters. The adoption of provisions which regulate in more detail a particular manner of disseminating or receiving information, without regard to its content, shall not be deemed a restriction of the freedom of expression or the freedom of information.
  • Article 14 provides the following: Freedom of assembly and freedom to demonstrate may be restricted in the interests of preserving public order and public safety at a meeting or demonstration, or having regard to the circu6 lation of traffic. These freedoms may otherwise be restricted only having regard to the security of the Realm or in order to combat an epidemic. Freedom of association may be restricted only in respect of organisations whose activities are of a military or quasimilitary nature, or constitute persecution of a population group of a particular race, colour, or ethnic origin.
  • Article 15 provides the following: No act of law or other provision may imply the unfavourable treatment of a citizen because he belongs to a minority group by reason of race, colour, or ethnic origin. (see more about the Constitution of Sweden here)
  • Article 16 provides the following: No act of law or other provision may imply the unfavourable treatment of a citizen on grounds of gender, unless the provision forms part of efforts to promote equality between men and women or relates to compulsory military service or other analogous official duties.
  • Article 17 provides the following: A trade union or an employer or employers’ association shall be entitled to take industrial action unless otherwise provided in an act of law or under an agreement. (see more about the Constitution of Sweden here)
  • Article 18 provides the following: The property of every citizen shall be so guaranteed that none may be compelled by expropriation or other such disposition to surrender property to the public institutions or to a private subject, or tolerate restriction by the public institutions of the use of land or buildings, other than where necessary to satisfy pressing public interests. A person who is compelled to surrender property by expropriation or other such disposition shall be guaranteed compensation for his loss. Such compensation shall also be guaranteed to a person whose use of land or buildings is restricted by the public institutions in such a manner that ongoing land use in the affected part of the property is substantially impaired, or injury results which is significant in relation to the value of that part of the property. Compensation shall be determined according to principles laid down in law. There shall be access for all to the natural environment in accordance with the right of public access, notwithstanding the above provisions.
  • Article 19 provides the following: Authors, artists and photographers shall own the rights to their works in accordance with rules laid down in law. (see more about the Constitution of Sweden here)
  • Article 20 provides the following: Restrictions affecting the right to trade or practise a profession may be introduced only in order to protect pressing public interests and never solely in order to further the economic interests of a particular person or enterprise. The right of the Sami population to practise reindeer husbandry is regulated in law.
  • Article 21 provides the following: All children covered by compulsory schooling shall be entitled to a free basic education at a public school. The public institutions shall be responsible also for the provision of higher education. (see more about the Constitution of Sweden here)
  • Article 22 provides the following: A foreign national within the Realm is equated with a Swedish citizen in respect of 1. protection against coercion to participate in a meeting for the formation of opinion or a demonstration or other manifestation of opinion, or to belong to a religious community or other association (Article 2, sentence two); 2. protection of personal integrity in connection with automatic data processing (Article 3, paragraph two); 3. protection against capital punishment, corporal punishment and torture, and against medical influence aimed at extorting or suppressing statements (Articles 4 and 5); 4. the right to have a deprivation of liberty on account of a criminal act or on suspicion of having committed such an act examined before a court of law (Article 9, paragraphs one and three); 5. protection against retroactive penal sanctions and other retroactive legal effects of criminal acts, and against retroactive taxes or charges due the State (Article 10); 6. protection against the establishment of a court of law for a particular case (Article 11, paragraph one); 7. protection against unfavourable treatment on grounds of race, colour or ethnic origin, or on grounds of gender (Articles 15 and 16); 8. the right to industrial action (Article 17); 9. protection against expropriation or other such disposition and against restriction of the use of land or buildings (Article 18); 10. the right to an education (Article 21). Unless it follows otherwise from special provisions of law, a foreign national within the Realm is equated with a Swedish citizen also in respect of 1. freedom of expression, freedom of information, freedom of assembly, freedom to demonstrate, freedom of association and freedom of worship (Article 1); 2. protection against coercion to divulge an opinion (Article 2, sentence one); 3. protection against physical violations also in cases other than cases under Articles 4 and 5, against body searches, house searches and other such invasions of privacy, and against violations of confidential communications (Article 6); 4. protection against deprivation of liberty (Article 8, sentence one); 5. the right to have a deprivation of liberty other than a deprivation of liberty on account of a criminal act or on suspicion of having committed such an act examined before a court of law (Article 9, paragraphs two and three); 6. public court proceedings (Article 11, paragraph two); 7. protection against interventions on grounds of opinion (Article 12, paragraph two, sentence three); 8. authors’, artists’ and photographers’ rights to their works (Article 19); 9. the right to trade or practise a profession (Article 20). The provisions of Article 12, paragraph three; paragraph four, sentence one; and paragraph five shall apply with respect to the special provisions of law referred to in paragraph two.
  • Article 23 provides the following: No act of law or other provision may be adopted which contravenes Sweden’s undertakings under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. (see more about the Constitution of Sweden here)

Fundamental rights in relation to the E.U. Services Directive

The following is an examination of fundamental rights regarding the European Union Servicies Directive [1]:

Fundamental rights: the Relationship between the EU Services Directive and specific areas of law and policy

Article 1(7) states that the Directive has no impact on fundamental rights as recognised by Member States and by Community law, without further specifying this concept. Its second sentence refers to the right to negotiate, conclude and enforce collective agreements in accordance with national laws and practices which must respect Community law. Article 1(7) does not take any position as to whether negotiation, conclusion and enforcement of collective agreements are fundamental rights. In the context of this article, Recital 15 is of particular importance. It spells out the basic principle that there is no inherent conflict between the exercise of fundamental rights and the fundamental freedoms of the EC Treaty, and that neither prevails over the other31.

Resources

Notes

  1. Information on fundamental rights based on the EU Services Directive Handbook, UK Government

See Also

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