|Abstract:||At its beginning the European Coal and Steel Community was conceived as an economic community. In the hopes of gaining advantageous effects on its economy, the Member States have transferred part of their sovereignty to a jointly organiza-tion. At the beginning, the field of the coal and steel industry was transferred, later many other fields - especially in the economy. At that time, human rights did not be-long among the fields, for which the Member States would have transferred their sovereignty to the Community. Because of this, in the beginning the European Court of Justice rejected cases dealing with issues of human rights and fundamental free-doms. Later it pioneered in this field with the original interpretation, that human rights are part of the common constitutional traditions of the Member States and that the Court should consider them as general principles of law, despite the fact that the Treaties do not contain specific provisions on this.
Nowadays, the European Union presents a symbol for an integration, which in-creasingly penetrates into all aspects of our lives. With the passage of time the Un-ion is gaining several government and supranational forms. Therefore it seems al-most obvious that it takes the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms under its wing. It would be extremely inappropriate, would the European Union not subordinate itself to the supervision of the protection of human rights and funda-mental freedoms to the European Court of Human Rights.
A crucial step was made with the Treaty of Lisbon, which in Article 6 of the Trea-ty on European Union provides that the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights has the same legal value as the Treaties, furthermore that the Union accedes to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and that the fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human rights and Fundamental Freedoms and as a result of the consti-tutional traditions common to the Member States, are general principles of primary law of the European Union.
On the other hand, members of the Council of Europe have adopted Protocol No. 14 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which in addition to other changes in Article 17 provides that the European Union may accede to the Convention.
It seems that the biggest legal obstacles to the EU's accession to the Convention are resolved. Some decisions regarding voting, type of representation of the Union in the organs of the Convention and the Council of Europe are becoming more tech-nical questions, the most difficult legal theoretical answers are already on the table.
The question is: Why is the Union still not a full member of the European Con-vention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms? My firm be-lief is that the answer to this question is beyond the scope of the legal profession. We need to search for the answer to this question in international politics. My an-swer to the question is as follows: For both, the European Union, as well as the Council of Europe, it would be better if the Union approaches today, than waits until tomorrow. |