iCourts Working Paper Series No. :
The chapter examines the foundational role that human rights play in the project of European integration, addressing the topic from three perspectives. First, it recounts the history of the protection of fundamental rights in the EU to emphasize that human rights have always been at the heart of the EU. Second, it compares the protection of fundamental rights in the EU with the protection at the national and international level to make the point that, actually, the EU human rights system is older and more established than most national and international systems in Europe. Third and finally, however, it also approaches the protection of human rights in the EU from a critical perspective, showing how the lack of strong mechanisms of executive enforcement in EU law constitutes a problem as the EU a faces centrifugal pressures from several member states.
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