Modern solutions to modern problems: Revising the Charter of Fundamental Rights
The definition and extent of freedom, as well as the determination and precedence of
rights are topics that have fueled and continue to fuel debates and whole systems of ideas
from Ancient Greece up until the 21st century; one can find a very deep-rooted beauty that
constitutes the subjective nature and uncertainty of any answer to these questions; one may
go as far as saying that God forbid the coming of the day when we know for sure what is right
or wrong and exactly how far is freedom allowed to go.
Therefore, a very simple but fundamental question is born: how does a committee go
about questions that not only do not have definite answers but also affect the happiness and
well-being of the world more than probably anything else? The first among equal
prerequisites is the non-breaking of the laws of logic and the non-falling prey to the low-hanging fruit of logical fallacies. Secondly, an open mind, or more exactly put, a mind free of
all kinds of prejudice is required when discussing such delicate matters drenched in nuance.
Furthermore, attention to detail and diligence is requested from the delegates: in this case, a
diligent pursuit of truth comes in handy much more than diligent and enthusiastic attempts
to spread inconsistent ideology.
Let’s briefly observe the problem of misinformation as an example. It is a serious
threat to democracy and –as experienced by all of us by now- to public health. A very
straightforward and simple solution would be banning accounts that spread mis- and
disinformation. But, why do some people fall for it and others do not? Why are government
officials and scientists perceived by some as doubtful, or even dishonest sources of
information, but individuals off the street receive the greatest deal of trust that millions of
people can ever give? Trying to find an answer to those questions reveals deep cavities in the
pillars of our societies, which go far beyond the disobedience of COVID-19 regulations or
The problems with the implementation of the Charter of the Fundamental Rights
show the difficulties met en route to fulfilling one of the most fundamental goals of the EU,
namely the bringing of Europe closer together. It is plausible to say that Europe can be
brought together with Member States having different, and even opposite values. While
values should indeed be taken into consideration, we shall not forget that they are forged and
passed from generation to generation in order to stimulate and support the well-being and
harmony within society and even humanity; therefore, it is necessary –no matter how painful-
to give them a different name when they do not serve that role anymore – concretely, when
values stubbornly refuse to take into consideration scientific evidence and accumulated
human experience, they should rather be called dogma. Ultimately, what will bring Europe
and the whole world together is the pursuit of happiness, harmony, and the solving of conflicts
and disagreements by constructive and productive debate.
This year’s Council of the European Union takes some heavy challenges upon its
shoulders. It should be of great interest to see how those challenges are approached and how
they get overcome if they get overcome in the first place.