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Application of Fundamental Rights in the Relationships between Private Parties

Sasa Sever

Whilst Article 51 (1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Charter) provides that individuals may invoke fundamental rights vis-à-vis the European Union or its Member States, it does neither provide nor forbid their application in the relationships between private parties.This discrepancy can be partly clarified by looking into the relevant case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on this matter which can be divided into three categories. Firstly, the CJEU has expressed this position in Mangold (C-144/04), Kücükdeveci (C-555/07) and Römer (C-147/08). Secondly, such a position results from Association Belge des Consommateurs Test-Achats e.a. (C-236/09), Google Spain and Google (C-131/12) and Digital Rights Ireland and Seitlinger (C 293/12 and C 594/12). Thirdly, however, in AMS (C-176/12) the stance of the CJEU was slightly different as it took the view, that a certain socio-economic right from the Chapter on 'Solidarity' of the Charter cannot be invoked in the relationships between private parties.The puzzle this contribution aims to resolve is whether the aforementioned case law opens a possibility for an application of any other provision of the Charter between private parties as well apart from the mentioned ones.

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