164. (a) The Charterhorizontal clauses
horizontal clauses provide significant advantages for legal certainty
as regards the definition of competences. It is essential to ensure
that the horizontal clauses are as clear and unambiguous as possible
(paras 91, 92). They may need to be strengthened to ensure that
the Charter does not extend the competences of the Community and
the Union (para 96, 99, 101).
· If the
Charter is to be incorporated into the Treaty there is a need
for an authoritative commentary or "interpretation",
which should be published and be readily available to the citizen
and the courts (para 94). It should include a statement to the
effect that the Charter is not intended to fetter the powers of
Member States outside the field of Community/Union law to pursue
whatever policies they choose (para 98).
165. (b) Accession to the ECHR
EU should have legal personality (para 119).
· If the
Union were to accede to the Convention, the Member States should
be able to agree any qualifications or reservations (paras 122,
autonomy of the Community legal order would not be endangered
by EU accession to the ECHR. The position of the ECJ would be
analogous to that of national constitutional or supreme courts
in relation to the Strasbourg Court. But any uncertainty as to
the application of the domestic remedies rule should be clarified
in the instrument of accession (paras 126, 130 and 131).
166. (c) Remedies
· If incorporation
of the Charter is to confer any real benefit on individuals, the
rights that will have been created will need effective remedies
in order to give those rights substance and make them meaningful
· No matter
within the scope of the Charter and within EU competences should
be outwith the jurisdiction of the ECJ. The Court should have
jurisdiction over Second and Third Pillar matters, and over all
EU institutions and bodies (paras 146, 148, 150).
standing rule in Article 230(4) TEC should be re-examined. We
urge the Government to press the Convention to do so as a matter
of urgency, working in close conjunction with the Community Courts
resources of the Community Courts and the Strasbourg Court need
strengthening to enable cases to be decided within a reasonable
time (para 133).
- The Committee considers that incorporating the
Charter into the Treaties raises important questions to which
the attention of the House should be drawn and recommends the
Report to the House for debate.