European Papers (Jun 2017)

Towards a Uniform Standard of Protection of Fundamental Rights in Europe?

  • Enzo Cannizzaro

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 2017 2, no. 1
pp. 3 – 7


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(Series Information) European Papers - A Journal on Law and Integration, 2017 2(1), 3-7 | Editorial | (Abstract) The multiplicity of systems of protection of fundamental rights is certainly a badge of honour for Europe. At present, there are no less than three general instruments of protection applicable to the territories of the Member States: the European Convention of human rights, the Charter of fundamental rights and the plethora of national bills of rights. Their coexistence, however, is not as peaceful as one could expect. The European judicial chronicles yearly report a relatively high figure of conflicts, real or sometimes imaginary, between rights and procedural instruments of control. A uniform standard of protection would cure the incoherence deriving from the conflictual co-existence of a plurality of autonomous systems of protection of fundamental rights. It would be consistent with the idea of the unity of fundamental values as a part of the European constitutional heritage. It would consider the process of integration of fundamental rights and values as an integral component of the on-going process of European integration. All the more so that, in spite of the jealous defence of their prerogatives by the national high courts, a creeping harmonization of the standard of protection of human rights has already silently taken place in Europe, mainly through the harmonising effect of the ECHR.