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AUC IURIDICA, Vol 64 No 4 (2018), 155–166

In varietate concordia – čl. 22 Listiny základních práv EU

[In varietate concordia – Article 22 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU]

Martina Brčáková

announced: 04. 01. 2019


The study deals with the status of Article 22 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and its interpretation and application by the Court of Justice of the EU. Diversity belongs to the fundamental values of the European Union and reference to it can be found even in the unofficial EU motto “United in diversity”. However, it is not clear if Article 22 of the Charter constitutes a subjective right, which should be respected, or merely a value as a policy statement, which should be observed (see Art. 51 of the Charter). Argumentation in favour of the value prevails. Neither is there any direct link to other standard human rights catalogues in the Explanations. Respect for diversity is one of the basic principles of democracy and the rule of law. Activities of the EU in the field of diversity are limited by the entrusted powers and by legal framework to enact secondary legislation enshrined especially in Art. 167 TFEU for the field of culture. According to Art. 167 Sec. 4 TFEU, the cultural diversity should be respected in all other activities of the EU as well. Language diversity could be seen as a part of culture. Specific issue is the language regime of the EU, as, to date, there are 24 official and working languages. Possible actions with respect to the religious diversity are limited to the antidiscrimination measures according to Art. 19 Sec. 1 TFEU. Although Art. 22 of the Charter could constitute the basis for the minority protection in the EU, this remains a delicate and problematic issue. The current role of Art. 22 of the Charter in this context remains therefore very limited. In several cases, the Court of Justice of the EU, advocate general or the participants referred to Art. 22 of the Charter. These cases concern inter alia the topics of recruitment, patent protection, minority issues and national legislative measures in support of national languages. Art. 22 of the Charter is mainly cited as a subsidiary provision. It is sometimes not even quoted as Art. 3 Sec. 3 TEU provides for the respect for diversity as well. Despite the nowadays limited role of Art. 22 of the Charter, cultural and language diversity are well rooted as fundamental values of the community and Art. 22 of the Charter has the potential to become the basis for the minority protection in the EU in the future.

keywords: Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU; diversity; culture; language; religion; right; principle; minority protection

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