European Values and National Constitutions: Bringing the Charter from Uncharted Waters

The European Union is struggling to cope with the challenges adequately and in a timely manner. One of the underlying causes for indecisiveness is a rising conflict at the level of fundamental values. This contribution wishes to explore this problem from a conceptual point of view.
The approach will be twofold. In the first part, we will focus on the notions of “European” and “national” values in the context of the European Union. The analysis will mainly focus on Articles 2, 4 and 6 TEU and 52 of the Charter.
The second part will focus on the role of the Charter in solving possible value clashes. The starting point will be the CJEU’s case law in the field, which will help to answer the question of how the Charter fared in value conflicts before the CJEU. We claim that the Charter can help resolve some of the issues by providing relatively clear limits to the level of human rights protection, preventing the emergent backsliding of values, (once?) common to the European project.