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EU Human Rights as a Framework for Foreign Policies

  • Vivian Kube
Chapter
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Part of the Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Rights book series (CHREN, volume 4)

Abstract

This chapter explores how different EU law sources of human rights should influence EU investment policy making. This analysis takes the foreign policy objective and principle that demand global human rights protection and promotion, as stipulated in Article 21 and 3(5) TEU, as a starting point, but is not limited to it. International human rights norms and the Charter form important pillars of the EU human rights obligations. This analysis however approaches the examination of the entire EU human rights framework in relation to Article 21 TEU and 3(5) TEU as explicit directives for the former’s application to EU trade and investment policies.

Section 2.1 contrasts the approach adopted in this book to the previous attempts to grasp the specific category of human rights protection as a foreign policy objective, which mainly excluded the imposition of strict human rights obligations on the EU foreign policy maker.

Section 2.2 discusses the applicability of international human rights norms and specifically of the Charter to EU investment policy making and puts them in relation to the foreign policy objective. Based on the recent developments in international human rights, a territorially unconfined application of the Charter and supporting EU case-law, this section rebuts claims for a limited relevance of human rights in international economic regulation.

Section 2.3 discusses the relevance of the EU human rights framework in relation to other substantive and procedural norms that shape EU investment policy. The specific objective of trade liberalization that gained emphasis in the post-Lisbon Treaties raises questions regarding any constitutionally mandated prioritization.

Section 2.4 indicates that policy implications can be derived from the human rights framework. How these policy implications operate precisely and are judicially reviewable, is demonstrated in Part III by means of examining concrete policy tools for their capability to counter severe inequalities of human rights protection which are prevalent in the current international investment regime and which the EU so far has appropriated with only marginal mitigations as Part II reveals. Section 2.4 provides the legal grounds for more adequate responses by explaining that the EU has the necessary competence (the ‘can’) and is to some extent required (the ‘must’) to rethink previous human rights approaches that were conceptually too narrow in that they were limited to view human rights as a development concern and failed to capture human rights threats stemming from or being perpetuated by EU trade policies.

Section 2.5 considers the judicial implications of the EU human rights framework in the context of trade and investment policies. It confronts claims for limited extraterritorial effect of EU acts and consequentially restricted possibilities to judicially challenge those. It further summarizes the relevance of the EU human rights framework for the judicially reviewable legality of EU acts—the latter issue constitutes a common thread throughout this chapter.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivian Kube
    • 1
  1. 1.HamburgGermany

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