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Reverse Solange - Protecting the Essence of Fundamental Rights against EU Member States

Head of Section:

Armin von Bogdandy

The “Reverse Solange” project presents an innovative approach to EU fundamental rights protection against the EU Member States. Its starting point are recent jurisprudential developments in the field of Union citizenship, which are conceptually linked with the fundamental rights enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. This approach argues for an individual right to seek redress against violations of the essence of fundamental rights - also in purely internal situations. To put this into practice the approach suggests a reverse Solange-doctrine, applied by the ECJ towards the Member States: outside the scope of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights the Member States remain autonomous in fundamental rights protection as long as it can be presumed that they ensure the essence of fundamental rights enshrined in Article 2 TEU. However, should this presumption be rebutted, the “substance” of Union citizenship - within the meaning of Ruiz Zambrano - comes into play. On this basis Union citizens can seek redress before national courts and the ECJ.

 

This proposal has sparked a broad international discussion:

Matej Avbelj, Claudio Franzius, Michaela Hailbronner, Daniel Halberstam, András Jakab, Edward Kanterian, Dimitry Kochenov, Jan Komárek, Mattias Kumm, Peter Lindseth, Jan-Werner Müller, Kalypso Nicolaidis, Wojciech Sadurski, Kim Lane Scheppele, Daniel Thym, Renáta Uitz, Antje Wiener, Floris de Witte on the Verfassungsblog’s Reverse Solange debate: A Rescue Package for EU Fundamental Rights, http://www.verfassungsblog.de/category/schwerpunkte/rescue-english/ and Hungary: Taking Action, http://www.verfassungsblog.de/en/category/focus/hungary-taking-action/;

Bojan Bugarič, ‘Protecting Democracy and the Rule of Law in the European Union: The Hungarian Challenge’ LSE ‘Europe in Question’ Discussion Paper Series 79/2014, 23 ff;

Claudio Franzius, ‘Hungary and the EU: ways out of the Crisis’ Heinrich Böll Stiftung, http://www.boell.de/en/navigation/europe-north-america-claudio-franzius-hungary-and-the-eu-14682.html;

Claudio Franzius, Recht und Politik in der transnationalen Konstellation, 234 ff. (Campus, Frankfurt, 2014);

Meinhard Hilf and Frank Schorkopf, ‘Art. 2 EUV’, in Grabitz and Hilf (eds.), Das Recht der EU (C.H. Beck, 2014), para 53;

Sara Iglesias Sánchez, ‘Fundamental Rights and Citizenship of the Union at Crossroads: A Promising Alliance or a Dangerous Liaison?’ (2014) 20 European Law Journal 477;

Petros Iosifidis/Irini Katsirea, ‘Public Service Broadcasting in Greece in the Era of Austerity’ EUI Working Paper RSCAS2014/42, 9 ff;

Matthias Klatt, Die praktische Konkordanz von Kompetenzen. Entwickelt anhand der Jurisdiktionskonflikte im europäischen Grundrechtsschutz (Mohr Siebeck 2014) 380–435;

Dimitry Kochenov, ‘On Policing Article 2 TEU Compliance – Reverse Solange and Systemic Infringements Analyzed’ (2013) Vol. 33 Polish Yearbook of International Law 145–170;

Dora Kostakopoulou, ‘Co-Creating European Union Citizenship: Institutional Process ad Crescive Norms’ (2012-2013) 15 Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies 271;

Kristīne Krūma, EU Citizenship, Nationality and Migrant Status (Martinus Nijhoff, Leiden, 2014) 422 ff.;

Walther Michl, Die Überprüfung des Unionsrechts am Maßstab der EMRK. Individualgrundrechtsschutz im Anwendungsbereich des Unionsrechts unter den Vorzeichen des Beitritts der EU zur EMRK (Mohr Siebeck 2014) 8, 38–41;

Manuel Müller, ‘Demokratie in Ungarn: Zeit für eine neue Grundrechtedoktrin des Europäischen Gerichtshofs?’ http://www.foederalist.eu/2012/02/demokratie-in-ungarn-zeit-fur-eine-neue.html;

C. Ohler, Grundrechtliche Bindungen der Mitgliedstaaten nach Artikel 51 GRCh’, Neue Zeitschrift für Verwaltungsrecht NVwZ 2013, 1435;

Láncos Petra Lea, ‘A demokrácia és pluralizmus értéke az európai média jogban’ Iustum Aequum Salutare (2014), 114 ff;

Cesare Pinelli, ‘Protecting the Fundamentals’, Foundation for European Progressive Studies Working Paper 2012, 9;

Siniša Rodin, A Rescue Package for Fundamental Rights, http://pravo-eu.blogspot.de/2012/02/rescue-package-for-fundamental-rights.html;

A. M. Russo, ‘La cittadinanza 'sostanziale' dell’UE alla luce della proposta del gruppo di Heidelberg: verso una 'reverse Solange'?’ Federalismi 1/2014, 1–19;

Andreas Voßkuhle, The Cooperation Between European Courts: The Verbund of European Courts and its Legal Toolbox, in: Allan Rosas, Egils Levits, Yves Bot (eds.), The Court of Justice and the Construction of Europe: Analyses and Perspectives on Sixty Years of Case-law (T.M.C. Asser Press 2013) 81, 94–97;

Wolfgang Weiß, ‘Grundrechtsschutz durch den EuGH: Tendenzen seit Lissabon’, Europäische Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsrecht EuZW 2013, 288.

Publications

  • von Bogdandy, Armin, Matthias Kottmann, Carlino Antpöhler, Johanna Dickschen, Simon Hentrei, Maja Smrkolj: Reverse Solange. Protecting the essence of fundamental rights against EU Member States. In: Common Market Law Review 49, 489-519 (2012).
  • von Bogdandy, Armin, Matthias Kottmann, Carlino Antpöhler, Johanna Dischen, Simon Hentrei, Maja Smrkolj: Ein Rettungsschirm für europäische Grundrechte. Grundlagen einer unionsrechtlichen Solange-Doktrin gegenüber Mitgliedstaaten. In: ZaöRV 72, 45-78 (2012).