A Giant Leap for European Human Rights? The Final Agreement on the European Union's Accession to the European Convention on Human Rights
After the EU’s accession to the ECHR has been discussed for more than thirty years, an Accession Agreement has been finalized in 2013. By subjecting EU law to the supervision of the ECtHR and by enabling individuals to submit complaints against the EU institutions to Strasbourg, one of the last gaps in European human rights protection will be overcome. But accession may not take place as swiftly as some may hope for, as many legal problems remain unsolved. This article examines the most urgent legal issues in the context of accession, such as its scope and legal effects; its procedural aspects (the co-respondent mechanism, inter-Party cases, and the prior involvement procedure) and their relation to the Union’s legal autonomy; and the institutional interlacing of the EU and the Council of Europe and the former’s future involvement in the Parliamentary Assembly and in the Committee of Ministers.
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