This chapter investigates the direct effects of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union in the light of the CJEU’s case-law. The recent judgments on paid annual leave (Bauer, Max-Planck, and Kreuziger) have represented a significant step forward in the implementation of the Charter, in that, for the first time, the CJEU has ascribed horizontal effect to a provision contained in the Charter’s Solidarity chapter. However, this jurispru- dence raises many questions as concerns the distinction between “rights” and “principles” under Article 52(5) of the Charter. Related to this is the question whether the normative content of the Charter’s provisions may be enriched through incorporation of implementing directives. In this connection, the author argues that the provisions of secondary law should rather be considered for the purposes of the proportionality assessment under Article 52(1) of the Charter. It finally discusses some (still largely unaddressed by the CJEU) challenges relating to the Drittwirkung of the Charter and of general principles of EU law. The chapter underlines the redistributive effects of horizontality, as well as some conceptual problems from the perspective of legal certainty.
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