Unchart(er)ed Territory: EU Fundamental Rights and National Private Law
Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2013-25
26 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2013 Last revised: 28 Apr 2013
Date Written: April 18, 2013
How do fundamental rights recognised at EU level affect legal relationships under the national private laws of EU Member States? How and to what extent should such EU fundamental rights be integrated in legal reasoning under European private law? Taking its cue from four recent CJEU judgments, this paper focuses on the application of the Charter to cases concerning the application of Directives and Regulations and analyses the specific problems arising in this context. The analysis makes clear that the Charter provides judges with a means to strengthen fundamental rights protection in the EU legal order. At the same time, however, the risks related to a further-reaching constitutionalisation of European private law should not be underestimated, in particular insofar as social rights might be subordinated to economic interests falling within the scope of the Charter’s provisions regarding freedom of contract.
Keywords: EU Charter of fundamental rights, European private law, judicial method, proportionality, balancing, freedom of contract
JEL Classification: K12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation