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Parliamentary questions
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7 June 2017
Answer given by First Vice-President Timmermans on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-002208/2017

The Commission does not comment on hypothetical policy decisions debated in Member States.

As concerns withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the Commission would like to refer the Honourable Member to its answer to Written Question E-5000/2006(1) in which the Commission explained that respect for fundamental rights as guaranteed by the ECHR is an obligation under Article 6(3) of the Treaty on European Union.

The Court of Justice has held that the ECHR is of special importance for determining the fundamental rights that must be respected by the Member States as general principles of law when they implement Union law. According to Article 52(3) of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, in so far as the Charter contains rights which correspond to rights guaranteed by the ECHR, the meaning and scope of those rights shall be the same as those laid down by the ECHR.

The Commission also explained that any Member State deciding to withdraw from the ECHR and therefore no longer bound to comply with it or to respect its enforcement procedures could, in certain circumstances, raise concern as regards the effective protection of fundamental rights by its authorities.

Such a situation, which the Commission hopes will remain purely hypothetical, would need to be examined under Articles 2 and 7 of the Treaty on European Union.


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