1995 REPORT RECOMMENDATION
Human Rights and Citizenship
...Article 230 of the European
Community Treaty already requires the Community to "establish
all appropriate forms of co-operation with the Council of Europe",
and this provision could usefully be expanded, for example to
ensure that work under the Justice and Home Affairs pillar takes
full account of what has or is being done within the framework
of the Council of Europe.(284)
Another proposal which has been
examined and discussed for many years is that the European Communities
should accede to the European Convention on Human Rights. The
Select Committee have carried out two enquiries into the suggestion,
in 1980 and again in 1992.
...It would not be appropriate at present to reconsider the views
we expressed three years ago.(285)
...There should be a formal treaty
commitment against racial discrimination which should form the
legal base for binding Council legislation on racism...(286)
...Third country nationals who
had resided lawfully within the European Community for a period
of ten years should be granted the rights of free movement and
access to employment as are now given by the Treaties and by Community
legislation to nationals of the Member States.(287)
We would not favour even limited
harmonisation of the nationality laws of Member States...(288)
OUTCOME OF THE TREATY
Human Rights and Citizenship
Article 8 of the TEU is amended
to make it clear that citizenship of the Union shall complement
and not replace national citizenship.
The Treaty strengthens the Union's
commitment to fundamental human rights. The amended Article F
states that "the Union is founded on the principles of liberty,
democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,
and the rule of law..."
The Treaty includes a new Article
Fa which introduces a procedure for determining instances of a
serious and persistent breach of the fundamental principles referred
to in Article F, and allows for a partial suspension of the rights
of a Member State found to be in breach of these principles.
The assent of the European Parliament will be required.
The Union is committed to respecting
the European Convention on Human Rights, by Article F(2) of the
Treaty, which remains unchanged from the Maastricht Treaty and
states "the Union shall respect fundamental rights, as guaranteed
by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights
and Fundamental Freedoms signed in Rome of 4 November 1950 and
as they result from the constitutional traditions common to the
Member States, as general principles of Community law."
By Article L of the Treaty of Amsterdam the Court of Justice is
given jurisdiction over Article F(2) "with regard to action
of the institutions."
New Article 6a inserted by the
Amsterdam Treaty allows the Council, acting unanimously on a proposal
from the Commission and after consulting the European Parliament,
to take "appropriate action to combat discrimination based
on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability,
age or sexual orientation."
No proposal along these lines
is made in the Amsterdam Treaty, although the Council, under the
terms of Article C, must adopt, within a period of five years
after the entry into force of the Treaty, "measures defining
the rights and conditions under which nationals of third countries
who are legally resident in a Member State may reside in other
No proposal is made for harmonisation
of the nationality laws of the Member States.
14 Human Rights, 71st Report, 1979-80, HL 362; and Human Rights Re-examined, 3rd Report, 1992-93, HL Paper 10. In the later Report, the Committee concluded that although some of the legal difficulties had diminished, in view of the limited benefits to the individual and the institutional difficulties, they did not favour Community accession to the Convention. Back
15 Paragraphs 74 and 86. Back