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The Charter of Fundamental Rights and EU Citizenship: The Link with EU Law Re-Examined

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Chapter Summary

This chapter compares which circumstances make Charter and the fundamental rights attached to European Union (EU) citizenship applicable at national level. The comparison shows that the application of Union citizenship rights at national level, as developed in the case law of the Court of Justice, is not exclusively triggered in situations where an individual has exercised his or her rights attached to Union citizenship. Ever since the Court in 1969 essentially ruled that identifying a beneficiary for cheaper butter on a social welfare coupon is disproportionate, the Court has protected fundamental rights enshrined as general principles of EU law. The chapter shows how the link with EU law is traditionally created to make rights attached to EU citizenship and the Charter applicable at Member States' level. It has been argued that the Charter should apply also in situations at national level where EU law was not concretely implemented.

Keywords: Court of Justice; EU law; European Union (EU) citizenship; fundamental rights; Member States



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