This short essay is written for the ‘Enterprise and Fundamental Rights in the Transnational Context’ Conference, University of Molise, May 5 and 6, 2011. The questions whether fundamental rights in the European Treaties are self-executing and have direct effect on individuals against the State or in their relations with each other is sometimes analysed using a concept from German law, Drittwirkung (third party effect). The essay begins by setting out the context in which fundamental rights have been intersected with economic freedoms in the European Union law, and by briefly noting how the response of the European Court of Justice makes clear the benefits of the judicial review. Then, it evaluates recent doctrinal approaches to the case law of the European Court of Justice to give an idea of the underlying problems.
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