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"Human rights in the European Union legal order and national legal systems"

Seville, 27 - 28 October 2017

The Spanish Constitutional Court has organised the First Joint Meeting of the Constitutional Courts between Spain, Portugal, Italy and the French Constitutional Council, which took place in Sevilla coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome and the 25th anniversary of the Treaty of Maastricht. During their stay in the city, the members of the delegations of the four institutions were received by the President of the Regional Government of Andalusia, Susana Díaz, and by the Mayor of the city, Juan Espadas Cejas.

The Magistrates of the delegation of the Constitutional Court had the opportunity to exchange legal opinions with their Portuguese, Italian and French counterparts on "Human rights in the legal system of the European Union and national legal systems", the central theme of this meeting.

At the end of the working sessions, the members of the four delegations were received at the Palacio de San Telmo by the President of the Regional Government of Andalusia, Susana Díaz. During the welcoming ceremony, the President of the Constitutional Court, Juan José González Rivas, emphasized the irreplaceable role played by European democratic constitutions in the protection of human rights: "Without a Constitution there is no valid or workable democracy"; "without a Magna Carta the rights of citizens are left out in the open, subject to the arbitrary will of chance and the moment".

Regarding the Spanish Constitution, he has stated that its vocation is to protect and defend "the multiplicity of political visions, ideas and sensibilities" that reside in society, which means that "only within the Constitution and the law are the ideal conditions for the free aspirations of all".

President González Rivas has also highlighted the importance of "constitutional loyalty between all the constituent parts of Spain", especially when it is intended to "alter the regulatory framework established by the Constitution". In this regard, he recalled "the imperative obligation to respect and comply, in their entirety, with the decisions of any Constitutional Court. 

The magistrates of the four delegations also had the opportunity to greet the Mayor of Seville, Juan Espadas, and the Archbishop of the city, Monsignor Juan José Asenjo.

This first meeting of the Spanish, Italian, Portuguese Courts and the French Constitutional Council was attended on behalf of the Spanish Constitutional Court by the President, Juan José González Rivas; the Vice-President, Encarnación Roca Trías; and by Magistrates Andrés Ollero Tassara, Santiago Martínez-Vares García, Juan Antonio Xiol Ríos, Pedro José González-Trevijano Sánchez, Antonio Narváez Rodríguez, Ricardo Enquezrí Sancho, Cándido Conde-Pumpido Tourón and María Luisa Balaguer Callejón.

The delegation of the Constitutional Court of Portugal was composed by its President, Manuel Da Costa Andrade and by the Magistrates Joao Caupers and Lino Ribeiro and Magistrate María José Rangel de Mesquita.

In representation of the Italian Constitutional Court, its President, Paolo Grossi was joined by Magistrates Augusto Antonio Barbera, Nicolò Zanon and Mario Rosario Morelli and Silvana Sciarra.

Finally, the delegation of the Constitutional Council of France was headed by President Laurent Fabius and the Councillors Corinne Luquiens and Michael Pinault.

Andres Gutiérrez Gil, Secretary General of the Spanish Constitutional Court, and his Italian and French homologues, Carlos Visconti and Jean Maïa, ; as well as the Heads of Cabinet of these jurisdictions, Antonio Luis Ramos Membrive, Margarida Cortez and David Gaudillère also participated in thie event.