The Application of the EU Charter by Constitutional Courts: Can Equality and Trust between Courts Be Ensured in Judicial Discourse?

The Treaty of Lisbon established the binding nature of the EU Charter, which became part of the primary law of the EU. The first paragraph of its Article 51 provides that the EU Charter is addressed to the Member States only when they are implementing Union law. The obligation has thus been imposed on national courts – the constitutional courts being no exception – to observe and apply the EU Charter accordingly. By analyzing several constitutional courts of EU Member States and their relevant case law, the paper elaborates on whether the existence of the EU Charter changes the human rights discourse led by the constitutional courts. Furthermore, it explores how trust and the sentiment of being an equal interlocutor play an important role in the process.