The paper will address key the interplay between transnational and vertical judicial interaction cooperation in relation to the enhancement of fundamental rights in areas of public and private law:
(1) the development of European standards regarding the right to be heard of asylum seekers and irregular migrants; and
(2) the relationship between individual and collective remedies in consumer law area, where the Court of Justice refrains from widening its approach in light of access to justice principle.
In particular it will identify the main patterns of judicial interaction, reasons for its uneven development, and their effects at the constitutional, legislative, jurisprudential level. The paper will question whether judicial interaction has functioned first and foremost for the guarantee of uniform application of EU law, and whether the protection of this guarantee should come even at the cost of fundamental rights protection.
Judicial dialogue has sought to render EU anti-discrimination law internally and externally consistent, meaning that it synchronised hard and soft law measures within the EU legal order, and addressed inconsistencies with various international and domestic legal sources. Policy makers have drawn on multilevel governance mechanisms to explore alternatives to the existing legal framework. Article 21 of the Charter has been used by national courts: a) to reinforce the salience of the anti-discrimination directives; b) to maintain the favourable status quo; and/or c) to amplify the significance of relatively new concepts and catalyse social change. Policy makers have utilised “soft law” instruments which have for some time now operated on the margins of traditional time-consuming and often futile legislative processes. The Europeanisation of national public policies and the transformation of EU anti-discrimination law occurs at the junction of these two mechanisms.
Introducing the EU Charter had an enormous impact on fundamental rights protection, ne bis in idem and the outcome of the well-known Åkerberg Fransson saga.
At the same time, judicial interaction between national and European courts played a significant role throughout this saga. Given the various developments on national, EU and European levels, one of the remaining questions is whether judicial interaction can provide an answer to complex legal and practical issues relating to the overlapping of fundamental rights sources in general, and ne bis in idem in particular, pending any further EU harmonising measures. While using the Åkerberg Fransson saga as a reference point and illustrative example, this chapter aims at analysing the judicial interaction involved in light of more recent developments.
A shadow of uncertainty seems to have fallen on the face of European integration in the wake of recent crises. 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 chapter wishes to explore this problem from a conceptual point of view, seeking to provide possible solutions also based on the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
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 Charter.
Then we will focus on the role of the Charter in solving possible value clashes: from CJEU’s case law in the field, we will verify how the Charter fared in value conflicts. By studying the wording and possible interpretations of the Charter’s provisions, we thereby intend to bring the Charter from yet relatively uncharted waters.