Volume 55 (2018) / Issue 6
Article 6(2) TEU provides that the EU shall accede to the European Convention on Human Rights. However, the EU accession project has been significantly delayed by Opinion 2/13 of the ECJ. At the same time, there appears to be some harmony in the case law of the two European Courts, which could lead to the status quo being considered as a valid alternative to EU accession. It might therefore be tempting to remove Article 6(2) altogether from the TEU at the next revision of the Treaties. This paper argues that Article 6(2) should stay in the TEU, because a closer look reveals that the current status quo is not satisfactory: it does not allow an adequate representation of the EU in the procedure before the European Court of Human Rights, nor is it capable of ensuring in the long-term comprehensive and stable consistency between EU law and the Convention. Moreover, removing Article 6(2) TEU would undermine the very idea of a collective understanding and enforcement of fundamental rights. This could initiate a process leading to the current European architecture of fundamental rights protection being unravelled altogether. Hence, there is no return from Article 6(2) TEU. Neither is there from actually implementing it.
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