Our aim in this research area is to develop a comprehensive assessment of what European values are, how they change and which direction they could take in light of recent European experiences. To do this, we will situate the idea of values in the context of other normative concepts, such as norms, rights and principles. After clarifying the philosophical grammar of values as a concept, we will consider the content, scope and particularity of “European values”.
We follow four specific objectives:
1. Developing a conceptual map which specifies the grammar of the values, norms and rights as they are contained in the European Human Rights System, acquis and Charter. This map will allow for an analysis of dependencies and tensions between normative reference points, creating a framework within which NoVaMigra will situate its analyses.
2. Reconstructing the different elements of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, with the aim of understanding if and how they constitute a coherent normative structure. We will reserve a particular focus for analyzing how leading notions – such as dignity, freedom, and equality – translate into human rights, women‘s rights and migrants‘ rights.
3. Tracing the genesis and historical background of the EU Charter and its normative structure, with a specific focus on its embedding in European and international human rights regimes. By situating the EU Charter in its historical context, we aim to show to what extent the contemporary understanding of fundamental rights is the result of compromises between different political cultures. This will enable us to highlight tensions and ambivalences within the European norm system.
4. Understanding how the values at the heart of the EU Charter are interpreted differently at different times as well as in different regional and national contexts. In mapping values across regional and temporal distances, we will highlight the role values have played in the formation of political identities and, more specifically, in the construction of a European civic culture.