Fundamental rights of citizens and foreigners in the European Union
The starting point of the proposed project are fast developing legal standards in the field of fundamental rights on the national, European and global levels, the ways these levels intertwine and how they are mutually influential. The increasingly intensive normative activity of the EU causes introduction of new approaches to fundamental rights, thereby creating new dilemmas and frictions among various legal norms and levels of regulation – EU law (including the Charter of Fundamental Rights), national law of the Member States, case law of the European Court of Human Rights and international law.
The fields of EU competence where normative activity is the most intensive and which are closely connected to fundamental rights are: 1) EU citizenship and free movement, 2) migration – entry, residence and return of foreigners, 3) asylum/international protection, and 4) prohibition of discrimination. The last fifteen years saw the adoption of a number of secondary EU law sources which introduce a range of new obligations for the Member States in the field of fundamental rights and thereby strengthen the protection of an individual from arbitrary interventions. Since these issues are closely connected with the integrity and dignity of an individual and consequently with increased possibilities for the protection of his or her fundamental rights, the question of mutual consistency of norms on various levels is of key importance.
More concretely, the project deals with the meaning of EU citizenship for protection of fundamental rights, the question how valid are conditions that need to be met for freedom of movement of EU citizens and whether freedom of movement is guaranteed also to a growing community of samesex couples whose relationship has been legally recognized, and their families. Further, we will ask ourselves about the effects of the EU nondiscrimination directives and the relevant case law of the Court of Justice of the EU, on protection from discrimination in Europe, as well as how to overcome the hierarchies of equalities that these directives create. In the area of migration the project deals with international human rights obligations of the Member States in the field of extraterritorial border control and whether these obligations are met. In the field of asylum the most burning issues will be dealt with, i.e. the issue of access to asylum procedure and accelerated procedures dealing which constitute the majority of all asylum procedures. We will examine whether these procedures are fair and whether they provide for the right to effective legal remedies. We will also address the current legal framework ensuring “burdensharing” among the Member States and changes that are required from the fundamental rights perspective.