Faculty of Law

Spring Trento European Seminar
SeminarioDialoghi di Diritto tributario 9
The uncertain boundaries of the ECJ jurisdiction on fundamental rights: assessing the state of the art

10 aprile 2014
Room 6 - Faculty of Law - Via Rosmini, 27


Marco DaniMaribel Gonzales Pascual
Damian ChalmersGracienne Lauwers
Gracy PelacaniRoberto Toniatti
Jens Woelk


Marco Dani, University of Trento


Maribel Gonzales Pascual, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

Damian Chalmers, London School of Economics and Political Science


Gracienne Lauwers, Antwerp University and Free University, Bruxelles

Gracy Pelacani, University of Trento

Roberto Toniatti, University of Trento

Jens Woelk, University of Trento


The Charter of Fundamental Rights in the European Union has “the same legal force as the Treaties”  (art. 6.1° TEU); its ”provisions … are addressed to the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union with due regard for the principle of subsidiarity and to the Member States only when they are implementing Union law”.  The definition of the field of application of the Charter and, more generally, of  EU  provisions on fundamental rights as well as the very jurisdiction of the Court of Justice is thus a crucial issue. Recent case law by the ECJ (Zambrano, Fransson, Melloni, Siragusa) contributes to highlighting the boundaries of such jurisdiction and impacts on the jurisdiction of national supreme and constitutional courts and on the applicability of domestic sources of law. Identifying such boundaries of jurisdiction on fundamental rights is particularly relevant also in view of the access by the EU to the ECHR, all the more in anticipation of the entry into force of Protocol 15 (strengthening the national margin of appreciation) and of Protocol 16 (Highest domestic courts requesting the ECtHR  to give advisory opinions on questions of principle relating to the interpretation or application of the rights and freedoms defined in the Convention). The Trento European Seminar, while acknowledging the ongoing status of “work in progress” of the process of definition of the boundaries of the ECJ jurisdiction,  aims at focusing the state of the art at the present stage of complexity and uncertainty.

Within the framework of the research project “Jurisdiction and Pluralisms. The impact of pluralisms on the unity and uniformity of jurisdiction” financed by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (PRIN 2010-2011)