CJEU Opinion 2/13 | Accession of the European Union to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

Author (Corporate)
Series Details Opinion 2/13
Publication Date 2013-2014
Content Type ,


The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered on 18 December 2014 its Opinion on the draft agreement on the accession of the European Union (EU) to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR). It identified a number of problems with regard to its compatibility with EU law.

Further information:

The ECHR is a multilateral international agreement concluded in the Council of Europe (CoE). All CoE members are parties to the ECHR.

Following the agreement on a draft EU accession document, the European Commission asked the Court of Justice to give its Opinion on the compatibility of the draft agreement with EU law.

By an Opinion given in 1996, the Court had then concluded that, as Community law stood at the time, the European Community had no competence to accede to the ECHR. However, the proclamation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union by the EU institutions and the legal value later attributed to it by the Treaty of Lisbon solved the lack of legal basis for the EU’s accession to the ECHR. Even so, since the EU cannot be considered a State, such accession must take into account the particular characteristics of the EU, according to the Court of Justice.

Source Link http://curia.europa.eu/juris/liste.jsf?num=C-2/13
Alternative sources
  • https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A62013CV0002
Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
EU Law Analysis, 18.12.14: The CJEU and the EU’s accession to the ECHR: a clear and present danger to human rights protection http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/the-cjeu-and-eus-accession-to-echr.html
BlogActiv: ACELG, 24.12.14: Acceding to the ECHR notwithstanding the Court of Justice Opinion 2/13 http://acelg.blogactiv.eu/2014/12/24/acceding-to-the-echr-notwithstanding-the-court-of-justice-opinion-213/
BlogActiv: Andrew Duff, 07.01.15: The European Union is in Deep Trouble with its Top Court http://andrewduff.blogactiv.eu/2015/01/07/the-european-union-is-in-deep-trouble-with-its-top-court/
BlogActiv: ACELG, 06.01.15: Reaction to Leonard Besselink’s ACELG Blog http://acelg.blogactiv.eu/2015/01/06/reaction-to-leonard-besselinks%E2%80%99s-acelg-blog/
Verfassungsblog: Union meets Convention: How to move on with accession after CJEU Opinion 2/13 http://www.verfassungsblog.de/category/schwerpunkte/union-meets-convention-how-to-move-on-with-accession-after-cjeu-opinion-213-de-de-de-de/
EU Law Analysis, 16.02.15: Opinion 2/13 on EU accession to the ECHR: looking for the silver lining http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/opinion-213-on-eu-accession-to-echr.html
International Legal Materials: Vol. 55, No. 2, pp267-306 [April 2016]: Opinion 2/13 of the Court (C.J.E.U.) https://doi.org/10.5305/intelegamate.55.2.0267
European Law Blog, 31.03.15: Opinion 2/13 of the Court of Justice on Access of the EU to the ECHR – One step ahead and two steps back https://europeanlawblog.eu/2015/03/31/opinion-213-of-the-court-of-justice-on-access-of-the-eu-to-the-echr-one-step-ahead-and-two-steps-back/
KSLR EU Law Blog, 19.01.15: Opinion 2/13 of the Court of Justice of the European Union https://blogs.kcl.ac.uk/kslreuropeanlawblog/?p=842#.W_Q25zGYSUk

EUObserver, 18.12.14: Court crushes EU plan to join human rights convention http://euobserver.com/justice/126993
EurActiv, 19.12.14: Court of Justice rejects draft agreement of EU accession to ECHR http://www.euractiv.com/sections/eu-priorities-2020/court-justice-rejects-draft-agreement-eu-accession-echr-310983

Council of Europe: News, 18.12.14: EU accession to Human Rights Convention https://web.archive.org/web/20150101021951/https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/-/eu-accession-to-human-rights-convention

ESO Records
The EU's accession to the ECHR http://www.europeansources.info/record/the-eus-accession-to-the-echr/
The EU’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights: a cause for celebration or concern? http://www.europeansources.info/record/analysis-the-eus-accession-to-the-european-convention-on-human-rights-a-cause-for-celebration-or-concern/

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