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Les traités fondateurs

The construction of Europe is based on the founding treaties, amended several times and, most recently, by the Treaty of Lisbon which came into force on 1 December 2009 at the end of a long process.

The Treaty of Lisbon amends the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) and the Treaty establishing the European Community (now the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union - TFEU). It introduces for the first time into primary law reference to the religious heritage of Europe and to the status of religious and humanist organisations, while confirming the guarantee of fundamental rights and non-discrimination.

- In the preamble to the TEU a recital was inserted referring to "the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe, from which have developed the universal values of the inviolable and inalienable rights of the individual as well as freedom, democracy, equality and rule of law".

- A new Article 17 was inserted into the TFEU, incorporating the contents of Declaration no. 11 annexed to the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997). It asserts the EU’s respect for the status from which churches, religious associations or non-confessional organisations benefit under national law and its maintaining an "open, transparent and regular dialogue with these Churches and organisations".

- Article 13 TFEU introduces for the first time into primary law the notion of respect for religious rites as taken into account of by Member States, relating to the welfare of animals at slaughter and killing.

- In terms of fundamental rights, new Article 6 §1 of the TEU states that "the Union recognises the rights, freedoms and principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union of 7 December 2000, as adapted on 12 December 2007 in Strasbourg, which has the same legal value as the treaties (...)". In addition, "the Union shall adhere to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. This adherence does not change the Union’s jurisdictions as defined in the treaties. Fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and as they result from constitutional traditions common to Member States, constitute general principles of EU law." (New Article 6 §2 and §3 TEU). The measures adopted by EU institutions and those adopted by Member States to implement EU law will henceforth be subject to review by the European Court of Human Rights, so as to ensure citizens similar protection from the Union that they enjoy from Member States in matters of fundamental rights.

- A clause banning discrimination based, inter alia, on religion or personal convictions is restated in Article 19 of the TFEU, whereas new Article 10 of the TFEU provides that in the definition and implementation of its policies and actions "the Union shall aim to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation".

D 18 juillet 2017    AFrançoise Curtit

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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