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Fundamental rights protection in the European Union is nowadays at the heart of academic debate amongst EU lawyers and academia. This is not strange as the ongoing development of fundamental rights and principles within the EU legal order has – at least for the time being – come to a climax through the adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon. Article 6 of the EU Treaty now recognizes the binding force of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, embraces the intention to accede to the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and codifies the European Court of Justice’s case law that fundamental rights shall constitute general principles of Union law. But the protection of fundamental rights may come into conflict with the fundamental Treaty freedoms, which have been vital in building Europe’s economic constitution.
Meanwhile the European Court of Justice, being increasingly confronted with questions as to the scope of fundamental rights and their relationship with ‘the fundamental Treaty freedoms’, such as the free movement of goods or services, has had to engage itself in a delicate balancing exercise.
The aim of this book is precisely to address the anxious relationship between fundamental rights and the fundamental Treaty freedoms within the context of EU law. The immediate cause for the publication of this book is the ‘Europa Institute lecture’ of Sybe de Vries (Utrecht University) held in Utrecht on 17 November 2010 with a critical reflection by Xavier Groussot from the University of Lund (Sweden).