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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article approaches the general issue of rights (and obligations) in the law of the EU from a theoretical, analytical perspective. This requires, in the first place, a theory of rights: we need to know how to identify rights, and not just fundamental rights, amongst all sorts of jural relations and legal institutes. In a second stage, it is necessary to consider whether rights in the EU have their very source in instruments of Community law, in the wider law of the EU, or elsewhere. In this latter sense, rights in the EU might be a rather large category comprising all duly recognized and enforceable rights within the EU as a complex set of institutions, and this can include rights derived from, and thereby recognized by EU law, as well as rights derived from other legal systems (member states' legal systems, international law, the European Convention of Human Rights) but recognized also in the EU legal system. Those systems interact when dealing with rights and obligations, especially in the context of directives (or framework decisions) – instruments conceived to ensure that rights and obligations created at European Community (or EU) level are recognized in the member states according to their ordinary legislative process.

Keywords: rights, obligations, EU law, member states, international law, Human Rights, EU legal system, directives

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