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The Penetration of Human Rights into the Agenda of the European Union


The article documents the process of the increase in the relevance of
fundamental rights in the European Union and calls attention to the fact
that it is gradually approaching an important point whose attainment
would have a considerable impact on the nature of the EU. The text traces
the development of the EU’s powers and activities in setting the norms
related to fundamental rights, and deciding about their application, control
and enforcement. The states have been reluctant to permit the Union to
intervene into their domestic human rights affairs which are not connected
to the EU’s competences. Nevertheless, its recent activities indicate that the
EU is starting to get more say even in this cautiously guarded domain of
domestic competence.


human rights, fundamental rights, European Union, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, powers of the EU, the Court of Justice of the EU

PDF Consultation (Czech)

Author Biography

Hubert Smekal

Born in 1979, he studied Law at Masaryk University and the master's
program "Governance and Politics of European Integration" at the Faculty
of Political Sciences, University of Bologna - at the Forli campus. He
completed his doctoral degree in European Studies at the Faculty of Social
Studies at Masaryk University, where he also works as a lecturer (assistant
professor) at the Department of International Relations and European
Studies and as a specialist assistant of the International Institute of Political
Science. In his research he primarily focuses on issues of human rights and
judiciaries. He is the author of two monographs, the main co-author of
three collective anthologies or monographs and numerous articles and
chapters in various domestic and foreign publications. In 2010 he received
the Fulbright-Masaryk Scholarship to study at the Centre for the Study of
Law and Society at the University of California, Berkeley from 2010 to 2011.
Since 2013 he is a member of the Government Human Rights Council.