MEDEL APPEAL DEMOCRACY REQUIRES INDEPENDENT COURTS, JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS (AN INDEPENDENT AND ACTIVE JUSTICE IS ESSENTIAL TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF AWARENESS ABOUT THE SOCIAL RELEVANCE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS) In a democracy, all citizens must hold the principle that rulers and the ruled are equally subject to respect objectives rights and duties enshrined in Constitutions, Treaties and Charters of Fundamental Rights. The defence of a truly national and European citizenship therefore takes on two key dimensions: a normative guarantee of rights and an effective implementation. National constitutions, bills of rights and the European treaties have granted to the courts – all courts – a right and a duty not to enforce unconstitutional laws or laws which contravene the fundamental rights therein enshrined. In the fundamental principle of Court Appeal, European citizens have the guarantee of asserting their rights and of denying an overbearing interpretation and application of those rights. It is imperative, therefore, that, both at national and European level, there is further consolidation and harmonization of an independent and accessible justice system to every citizen. This will be possible only by building up a democratic legal culture that allows for a constitutional reading of the law, able to guaranteeing, effecting and defending in all circumstances the fundamental rights, in their dual dimension of political and social rights. Political freedoms are fully exercised only by those who enjoy a social, cultural and material situation that enables them to make free and conscious choices. On the other hand, social rights can only survive as long as there will be actual political freedoms to defend and deepen them. MEDEL • Appeal 2 Today, Europeans citizens hold political and social rights as inalienable. It is an inseparable set of rights, neither negotiable nor dependent on the markets. They are rights inherent to human dignity. However, political and social rights should never be taken as granted. Attacks to those rights can come from various sources and the control of political decision by the economic and financial power leads to new and more dangerous threats to the fundamental rights of individual citizens. In negotiations like the one leading to the Transatlantic Free Trade Area, attempts are being made to put multinational companies at the same level as sovereign States, establishing special arbitration courts for disputes between companies and States, allowing the first to disrespect democratically approved laws that defend the rights of citizens. A true democracy requires, therefore, independent courts, judges and prosecutors, able to defend and carry them through. Every fundamental right and its guarantee have to be taken seriously. The political-cultural process of assertion and deepening of rights must therefore be pursued both at national level and within the European judicial institutions. Today all national courts are European courts. An independent and active Justice is essential to the development of awareness about the social relevance of the fundamental rights: it is essential to the defence and strengthening of democracy The right to independent courts is, in this sense, also a fundamental right. Defending a statute that asserts a true and uniform independence for the European courts and judges is to contribute to the defence of fundamental rights, to European citizenship and to the strengthening of democracy. The United Europe must be built based on citizens´ rights, effected and applied by an independent Justice, and not just upon market led deregulation. To a European citizenship, a European magistracy.