The treaty of Lisbon: a new European agenda for Human Rights. Filling the gap between solemn declarations and the reality on the ground

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Abstract

This article addresses the protection of human rights in the European Union (E.U.) before and after the Treaty of Lisbon which entered into force on the 1st December 2009 with special emphasis on the E.U. Charter of Fundamental Rights and the accession of the E.U. to the European Convention of Human Rights (E.C.H.R.). Furthermore, it discusses the next two important challenges: the necessary reduction of the «implementation deficit» and the importance of improving «access to justice». The goal of making rights effective for all citizens must constitute the first priority in the agendas for the 21st century at all administrative levels. For this reason, Part I gives a brief sketch on achievements regarding the protection of human rights in the E.U. before the Treaty of Lisbon. Part II examines how the E.U. has rethought the role of fundamental rights within the new Treaty of Lisbon by giving legal binding value to the E.U. Charter of Fundamental Rights and by providing the legal basis for the accession of the E.U. to the E.C.H.R. In Part III the exercise is closed by reminding the importance of the next battles still pending, that is to say, the need to reduce what is known as «implementation deficit» of these rights from the perspective of the «access-to-justice» legal thought and methodology. As it will be explained, the fundamental questions remaining on the agenda refer to the necessity of making rights effective at all levels (local, national and European levels) and providing the greatest access to justice for all citizens (judicial and non-judicial remedies). This would finally fill the gap between solemn declarations and the reality on the ground. Together with the conclusions, the author attempts to suggest the main guidelines that should inspire the human rights agendas of European, national and local Administrations for the next decade
Original languageIcelandic
Title of host publicationFilling the gap between solemn declarations and the reality on the ground
PublisherUniversidad de Extremadura
Pages519-551
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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