The adoption of the Lisbon Treaty and Poland's accession to the UK protocol, whose intention is to limit the possibility of direct application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, resulted in an increased interest in this document among the Polish public opinion. The author presents the development of the system of fundamental rights protection within the framework of the European Communities, culminated with the decision to draw up and adopt the Charter. It was reminded that the adoption of the Charter was for integration purposes. The EU citizens received a document gathering the rights which are shared by the French, the Greek and the Poles, as well as the citizens of other EU member states. The Charter constitutes important evidence that the Union is not only an economic organization, but also a community of ideas and values. The article presents characteristic features of the Charter and the scope of its regulation, as well as the bodies empowered or obliged by its provisions. In the author's opinion, the Charter represents an important step ahead in relation to the European Convention on Human Rights. The much discussed dilemma whether the EU has to establish its own catalogue or to accede to the Convention was resolved by accepting these two measures as vital for guaranteeing appropriate protection.. The Charter is an important instrument which may improve human rights protection not only within the European Union.. The author examines the legal status of the Charter which, by virtue of the EU Reform Treaty, was incorporated into the primary legislation of the European Union, as well as the issue of EU accession to the ECHR. The final part of the article discusses the significance Protocol 7, on the application of the Charter in relation to Poland and the United Kingdom. In the author's view, Poland's accession to the above-mentioned protocol does not mean that the Charter will not be binding in Poland. Upon coming the Reform Treaty into force, the Charter will become a binding law, also in Poland. The Protocol may only limit its direct application.
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