The harmonization potential of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

Filippo Fontanelli, Amedeo Arena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses two underrated and connected aspects that determine the applicability of the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights to Member State measures. First, the Charter can be a decisive standard of review for domestic measures only when they are covered by EU law but are not precluded by it. In this respect, the distinction between non-preclusion and non-application of EU law has been overlooked by legal scholarship. Second, because the scope of application of EU law and that of the Charter are identical, the latter suffers from the same uncertainties as the former. This article concludes that the entry into force of the Charter has exposed the blurred contours of the application of EU law, in particular in the area of the market freedoms. As a result, a certain spontaneous harmonization of human rights protection has emerged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-77
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Journal of Law Reform
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2018


  • application of EU law
  • Article 51 of the Charter
  • Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU
  • Court of Justice
  • jurisdiction of the Court of Justice
  • market freedoms
  • spontaneous harmonization


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