Robert Pye, The European Union and the absence of fundamental rights in the Eurozone: A critical perspective

Robert Pye, The European Union and the absence of fundamental rights in the Eurozone: A critical perspective, European Journal of International Relations

Despite the development of fundamental rights mechanisms in the European Union, including the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the governance of the Eurozone has led to policies that have undermined basic social rights. The purpose of this article is to explain why it is that the European Union has been able to act in this manner despite the assurances supposedly enshrined in its own rights guarantees. To do this, recent advancements in critical integration theory that posit European integration as the outcome of competing hegemonic projects are drawn upon. The construction of fundamental rights is conceptualised within the context of the institutional framework of the European Union and the current dominant neoliberal project. It is argued that the process of construction of rights has led to a highly restrictive understanding of what the concept of fundamental rights entails in the European Union. This has allowed European Union institutions to rhetorically commit to rights while simultaneously acting to undermine rights in practice.

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