The EU's Area of Freedom, Security and Justice: A Lack of Fundamental Rights, Mutual Trust and Democracy?
Cambridge Yearbook of European Law Studies (2008-2009)
37 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2014
Date Written: October 1, 2008
Since the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam came into force, the EU has had an 'Area of Freedom, Security and Justice'. While the scope of this 'area' is not clear conceptually, at the very least, its subject matter covers the ambit of Justice and Home Affairs, formerly the domain of the EU’s Third Pillar. Freedom, Security and Justice have their own Directorate-General within the European Commisssion. The 'Area of Freedom, Security and Justice' (AFSJ) is thus a hugely important area covering criminal law, terrorism, immigration, visa control, civil justice, as well as the massive area of free movement of persons.
One of the motivations for the concept of the Area of Freedom Security and Justice was an attempt to bring the EU closer to its citizens. This new paradigm might represent a bold and noble aspiration, if a somewhat nebulous one. What is clear, however, is that measures which fall within its scope have the capacity to alienate EU citizens rather than making them feel positively aware of their European identity. This article examines some of the measures taken by the EU in this broad field which cause particular concern.
Keywords: EU law, criminal law, criminal justice, international criminal law, data protection, security, freedom
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