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The Unfinished Democratization of Europe$
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Erik O. Eriksen

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572519

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572519.001.0001

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Chartering Europe

Chartering Europe

Chapter:
(p.85) Chapter 5 Chartering Europe
Source:
The Unfinished Democratization of Europe
Author(s):

Erik O. Eriksen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572519.003.0005

The EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights is a means to secure the interests and the diverse values of the citizens of Europe. It denotes the EU as a union of citizens and not merely as a common market. It has been argued that rights are detrimental to social integration since the granting of individuals legal rights has atomistic—disintegrative—consequences. However, human rights are not merely abstract principles which, when positivated, secure negative freedom. When they are constitutionalized and turned into fundamental rights they contain a guarantee for equal freedom of all citizens. A charter of fundamental rights is needed to enhance the legal certainty of citizens, reduce arbitrariness, and to institutionalize the right to justification. However, as the principle of popular sovereignty points to a particular society, and human rights point to an ideal republic, only with a cosmopolitan order—democracy at a supranational level—can human rights be properly institutionalized.

Keywords:   European Union, Charter of Fundamental Rights, human rights, citizenship, constitutionalization

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