The horizontal clauses
79. The final part of the Charter deals with the scope of the Charter and its provisions and with their relationship to the rest of the Constitutional Treaty and other instruments, including the ECHR. These are the so-called 'horizontal clauses'. There are four (see box):
- Article II-111, defining the scope of application of the Charter;
- Article II-112, setting out the scope of the rights guaranteed by the Charter;
- Article II-113, maintaining the level of protection currently afforded by international, national and Union laws; and
- Article II-114, dealing with the abuse of Charter rights.
The most important role of the 'horizontal clauses' is to ensure that the Charter does not result in EU competence being extended to all the matters it covers.
Craig, P and De Burca, G. EU Law 6 ed. 2015. p. 396. All emboldenings are mine.
Following its lofty Preamble in the name of the ‘peoples of Europe’, the Charter is divided into seven chapters. The various rights are grouped into six distinct chapters, and the final chapter contains the ‘horizontal clauses’ or general provisions. The first six chapters are headed: I Dignity, II Freedoms, III Equality, IV Solidarity, V Citizens’ Rights, and VI Justice.