La vie après l’avis: Exploring the principle of mutual (yet not blind) trust

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Series Details Vol.54, No.3, June 2017, p805–840
Publication Date June 2017
ISSN 0165-0750
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The purpose of this article is to highlight the fact that, whilst the autonomy of the EU legal order requires that the principle of mutual trust should be afforded constitutional status, as was held in Opinion 2/13, that principle is by no means absolute.

In cases such as N.S. and Aranyosi and Căldăraru, the ECJ has made clear that mutual trust must not be confused with blind trust. Trust must be “earned” by the Member State of origin through effective compliance with EU fundamental rights standards. However, where EU legislation is found to comply with the Charter, any limitations on the principle of mutual trust must remain exceptional and should operate in such a way as to restore that trust as soon as possible, thereby reinforcing both the protection of fundamental rights and mutual trust as the cornerstones of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice.

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