|Abstract:||In the 21st century, the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms is taken for granted in the EU. Pursuant Article 2 Treaty on the European Union, the EU is founded on values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights. Further, Article 49 TEU conditions the accession to the EU on ensuring to respect the values of Article 2 TEU, including respect for fundamental rights. The Charter, binding since 2009, represents a modern legal document, that next to »classic« fundamental rights also entails a new generation of fundamental rights. These »classic« rights such as the right to life, non-discrimination and equality before the law are joined by rights such as consumer protection, environmental protection and other rights that only exist in the EU legal order, e.g. free movement, right to vote and to stand as a candidate at elections to the European Parliament and municipal elections.
After the adoption of the Charter, one of the key open questions concerned its field of application. The field of application of the Charter is now regulated in its Article 51. The field of application of the Charter is divided, on the one hand, on its applicability for institutions and bodies of the EU and, on the other hand, its applicability for Member States. While the Charter always applies to bodies and institutions of the EU, it only applies to Member States when they are implementing EU law. When exploring the field of application of the Charter, recourse must be made to the first paragraph of Article 6 TEU, as the provisions of the Charter shall not extend the competences of the EU as defined in the Treaties.
Following the question of the field of application of the Charter, the question of the level of protection granted by the Charter arises. There are several levels of human rights protection in the Member States. These are protected by national constitutions, the Charter, ECHR and other international treaties. Precisely the quantity of legal documents that protect fundamental rights can cause legal problems that must be clarified.
More than a decade after the adoption of the Charter there are more questions than answers relating to the applicability and interpretation of the Charter. Therefore, in this thesis, I will try to shed light on some of these questions.|