Behind the Charter: The EU Ethical-Legal Identity in an International Order

  • Cristina Pace
Part of the Global Power Shift book series (GLOBAL)


This chapter will shed some light on the main reasons behind the need for a European Charter of Fundamental Rights, explaining why it was considered necessary to foster the EU’s credibility and power on a local as well as a global scale. The Charter is in fact considered to be the most influential instrument to boost the legitimacy of the European Union both in its internal and external dimensions. Such reflection will be important in providing an idea about the Charter’s added value on a global scale and the EU’s aspirations to be recognized as an emerging supra-national power in world politics and the global order. The EU has made human rights a central aspect of its internal as well as external policy and relations. The debate concerning human rights protection in Europe is directly linked with the debate concerning the EU’s ethical-legal and cultural identity. The Charter is being considered equally as an instrument to make rights more visible for the citizens of the Union, while at the same time compensating the democratic deficit existing as a permanent defect of European institutions. The Charter is eventually aiding in the evolutionary process of the Community and its gradual transformation from an economic to a political organization. It should be therefore listed as the most significant part of this process, providing evidence of a European “constitutional moment.”


Foreign Policy Human Dignity European Council External Dimension Fundamental Freedom 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IFL/FCSH, Universidade Nova de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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