The Charter of Fundamental Rights

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While the protection of fundamental rights has long been guaranteed in the European Community/Union by the Court of Justice, and then « constitutionalized » by the treaties of Maastricht and Amsterdam, the idea to make fundamental rights more visible for European citizens by establishing a catalogue of them is a political initiative, launched by Germany and supported by France. France has found itself in a position to exert a significant influence on the work of the Convention in charge of the negotiations of the Charter. France has widely contributed to the adoption of an honorable compromise on the particularly tricky question of social rights and to the introduction of a number of « modern » rights such as those related to bioethics or to the protection of personal data. The Charter was solemnly proclaimed at the European Summit of Nice in December 2000; the question of its legal value could continue to evolve. – Summary AFRI-2001