EUROPEAN LEGAL PRINCIPLES ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY - IMPORTANCE FOR THE WESTERN BALKANS

Gordana Gasmi

Abstract


The transition to democracy and the existence of a modern state cannot be separated from the existence and progress in the field of human rights and democracy. Without clear legal guarantees for respecting basic human rights, such a move may again lead to the establishment of autocratic regimes. This postulate is main foundation of the paper and guideline to analyze the relevance of European legal principles on fundamental rights, contained in the Lisbon Treaty on the European Union (EU) and its Charter of Fundamental Rights. More precisely, in contemporary international law and relations, characterized by increasingly widespread integration processes, the transfer of cultural and moral patterns goes from developed countries to less developed and developing countries, through transposition of legal principles on human rights and democracy. By taking those valid legal principles, which are increasingly used by the legal transplants and through legal harmonization process, countries in transition and developing countries partially or completely adopt the cultural models and moral patterns of the most developed countries concerning the basic human rights, which are cornerstones of contemporary democratic states. This process enables more rapid legal advancement of national legal systems of countries in transition and their faster integration into international community. In this manner, the EU is normative power, besides its economic and political significance and it acts towards candidate countries of the Western Balkans, but also to other third countries, through its values enshrined in legal principles of the Lisbon Treaty and its Charter. Consequently, it can be concluded that European legal principles on human rights and democracy represent crucial legal and political guidelines in accession of candidate countries into the EU. Finally, the new EU Strategy for the Western Balkans of February 2018 confirms that the rule of law, fundamental rights and governance must be strengthened significantly in those countries.


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