Accession of the European Union

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What is EU accession?

The accession of the European Union to the Convention denotes the process whereby the European Union will join the community of 47 European states which have entered into a legal undertaking to comply with the Convention and have agreed to supervision of their compliance by the European Court of Human Rights. The European Union will thus become the 48th Contracting Party to the Convention. Required under the Treaty of Lisbon, EU accession to the Convention is destined to be a landmark in European legal history because it will make it possible, at last, for individuals and undertakings to apply to the European Court of Human Rights for review of the acts of EU institutions, which unquestionably play an increasingly important role in our everyday lives.

The accession of the European Union to the Convention became a legal obligation under the Treaty of Lisbon, which entered into force on 1 December 2009.

The legal basis for the accession of the EU is provided for by Article 59, paragraph 2 (“the European Union may accede to this Convention”), as amended by Protocol No. 14 to the Convention which entered into force on 1 June 2010.

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe gave an ad-hoc mandate to its Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) to elaborate, in co-operation with the European Commission, the necessary legal instrument for the accession.

Speech by the President: Helsinki 6 September 2013 joint meeting European Union & ECHR

Final report to the CDDH (10/06/2013)

Joint Statement Issued by the Presidents of the Two European Courts

Accession by the EU to the Convention: Answers to frequently asked questions