Europos Sąjunga ir žmogaus teisės.
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The article is based on a paper „The European Union and Human Rights“, delivered in the conference „Problems of harmonization of Lithuania’s Law with the European Union Law“ organised by the Institute of International Law and European Union Law of the Law University of Lithuania on November 2002. The topic "The European Union and Human Rights" is significant and even problematic in the current phase. The significance of the topic is based on the presumption that the human rights as certain social values never looses its importance. However, being dinamic and evolutionary conepcts it always changes quantively and qualitively. The conclusion is that Human Rights as a legal concept always require permanent attention of the researchers. The attention in the article is focused on two main issues: The European Union as a unique legal system and the development of Human Rights within it; as well as The European Union Charter of the Fundamental Rights (hereinafter – the Charter) as a document of the new character. The article analyses efforts of the European Union to safeguard human rights, the first cases of the ECJ on human rights are presented. It is emphasized that prior to the adoption of the Charter the legal sources for the protection of human right in the EU were: 1) European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; 2) The Constitutions of Member States; 3) General principles of EU law, establishing and protecting human rights. Analysing the Charter, attention is drawn on the attitude of the Institutions of the European Union with regard to this document as well as an attitute of the member states. The article also analyses the problem of the relation between European Convention of Human Rights and the Charter.
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