International law, EU law comparative law
Articles 11 TFEU and 37 CFREU:
Under the basic tenet of sustainable development, Article 11 TFEU provides for the integration of environmental protection into the (regulatory) action of the EU. This provision is paralleled in the human rights framework by ‘twin’ Article 37 CFREU. In the light of such core rules, this article aims to systemically assess the status of environmental protection in the EU. First, the analysis contextualises Articles 11 TFEU and 37 CFREU within the framework of the sources of EU law, arguing that these norms constitute a core ‘binary’ system, which lies at the heart of the regulation of EU environmental protection. Secondly, the research assesses the nature and scope of the legal effects of Articles 11 TFEU and 37 CFREU and concludes, based on the necessary Hohfeldian correlation, that both have the potential to create not only vertical, but also horizontal right-duty relations. Thirdly, the investigation assesses the asymmetries that arise from the inclusion of twin provisions in different sources of EU law, unveiling the unstable rank of environmental protection as a primary, intermediate, or supreme EU rule. Finally, against the background of the case law of the ECJ and ECtHR and the future accession of the EU to the ECHR it is argued that Article 37 CFREU has the potential to enhance the effectiveness of Article 11 TFEU and establish environmental protection as a universal fundamental right under EU law, possibly beyond.