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Debates
Monday, 11 February 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Implementation of the Treaty provisions related to EU Citizenship - Implementation of the Treaty provisions concerning enhanced cooperation - Implementation of the Treaty provisions on Parliament’s power of political control over the Commission - Implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union in the EU institutional framework (debate)
MPphoto
 

  György Schöpflin (PPE). – Mr President, fundamental rights are a concept that everyone will support wholeheartedly. Problems only arise when these rights start to proliferate and it becomes impossible to know whether a right is fundamental or not. We are currently in the midst of an inflation of rights.

Second, when we raise the question of rights, are we focusing on law or on politics? If you do not keep the two separate, we politicise the law and legalise politics and that is not compatible with democracy.

Third, if we frame everything in the language of rights, then compromise, the keystone of democratic politics, becomes difficult to attain. The underlying dynamic of rights is a moral imperative, and morality is all but impossible to compromise.

Finally, if we are indeed dealing with fundamental rights, these must apply to everyone, even-handedly and indeed equitably. If this even-handedness is absent, we create privileged groups and exclude others. That is the high road to trouble, to serious trouble indeed. Look around Europe today to see what I mean.

 
Last updated: 8 July 2019Legal notice